Hate speech and Racist Practices against Foreigners in Turkey must be Stopped
  • 02/08/2023

    The American Center for Justice (ACJ) followed up on the case of three Yemenis who were assaulted and beaten by a number of Turkish citizens in the Turkish capital Istanbul. The incident came within repeated and escalating manifestations of hatred and racism against foreigners, Arabs and Syrians in particular. 

    According to the testimony of one of the victims and members of the Yemeni community who were present at the scene of the incident, the attackers started beating the victims in front of the police, who intervened to prevent the those being attacked from defending themselves and left the attackers to continue their assault without any attempt to stop them. A witnesses added that a police officer himself hit one of the victims on the face, without justification and tried to assault the other two victims although this same police officer his colleagues didn't even try to stop the attackers from assaulting the Yemenis. 

    The assault occurred after a quarrel between the Yemeni child Firas al-Nahari (15 years old) and a Turkish child. After that, the father of the Turkish child initiated the attack on the Yemeni child, which prompted his brother Anas to intervene, save him, and get away from the man without practicing any violence against the Turkish man and his son.

    However, the Turkish citizen summoned dozens of his other Turkish citizens to start attacking Anas in light of the complicity of the security of the residential complex, who allowed them to enter although only the residents of the complex are allowed to be inside the building. Dozens of Turkish citizens chased Anas and severely beat him. When his father intervened to protect him, they also attacked him. 

    According to eyewitnesses, one of the police officers hit the child Firas in the face four times while his colleagues used pepper spray in the faces of the Yemenis who tried to intervene to prevent the attack on their citizens. On the other hand, they didn't even try to prevent the Turkish citizens from attacking the Yemenis.

    This incident comes in the context of repeated and witnessed hatared and racist incidents against foreigners and Arabs in particular, which were followed by dozens of attacks and serious incidents of discrimination in public life. Most of the victims of these incidents were Syrian refugees, which calls for the authorities to intervene firmly and seriously and take policies and measures to limit and end them before they escalate into an uncontrollable situation.

    The state, its security apparatus, and its judicial and executive institutions must deal with foreigners residing in it and refugees without discrimination. They also should take punitive measures against those who incite hatred against foriegners, or those who perform any discriminatory practices or acts of violence against them.