Amid increasing anti-migrant sentiment in Turkey, three Jordanian teenagers were beaten in an apparent hate crime while waiting for a taxi in İstanbul, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing Independent Turkish.
One of the victims, Ahmed Ahmedi, had moved to Turkey seven months ago. “My brother, a friend and I were just waiting for a taxi when a car passed us and a passenger shouted something in Turkish,” he said. “They made a U-turn and got out of the car. Then they then started hitting us, while one of them broke a bottle and tried to injure us with it.”
Ahmedi said he did not remember what happened next since he passed out. Another victim, 16-year-old Enes Naddaf, said he tried to get away from the perpetrators by hiding in a nearby shop. “They first insulted us and told us to go back to Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I tried to hide in a shop, but the owner made me leave.”
Naddaf explained that other people stepped in and stopped the perpetrator from injuring them with the broken bottle.
The Istanbul-based International Refugee Rights Association said on Twitter the victims had filed a complaint with the police but that the perpetrators had managed to get away.
🛑Irak uyruklu Avustralya vatandaşı olan,15 ve 17 yaşlarındaki iki gencin İstanbul Başakşehir'de hiç bir sebep yokken durdurulup darp edildiği, ardından saldırganların aracıyla kaçtığı bilgisi derneğimize ulaşmıştır.
Gençlerin hukuki süreci derneğimiz tarafından takip edilecektir
— Uluslararası Mülteci Hakları (@multecihakder) May 3, 2022
Migration experts have said anti-migrant sentiment among the Turkish public has reached a tipping point. Many migrants have expressed they were so worried about the current wave of anti-migrant feelings they barely left their homes and were afraid to send their children to school.
Turkey hosts the world’s largest number of refugees, 3.7 million from Syria granted temporary protection status and over 400,000 refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.
Hate crimes against refugees and migrants, who are blamed for many of Turkey’s social and economic ills, have been escalating in the country in recent years.
Turkish media including pro-government and opposition outlets fuel and exploit the flames of hatred against people who fled their countries and sought refuge in Turkey.