Middle East

474 detained in Turkey over ‘provocative protests’ against Syrian refugees

ANKARA — Turkish Police detained 474 more suspects two days ago over “provocative protests” against Syrian refugees across Turkey, Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said.

Yerlikaya said on Tuesday that “provocative actions were organised” against Syrians on Monday night in some cities across the country after a Syrian girl was harassed by a Syrian man in Turkey’s central Kayseri province on June 30, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Two hundred eighty-five of the detainees had previous criminal records for offences such as drugs, looting, theft, damage to property, and sexual harassment,” the Turkish Minister said on the social media platform X.

The anti-Syrian riots first started in Kayseri province, where residents last Sunday set fire to houses and businesses belonging to Syrians and vandalised their vehicles.

The violence spread to the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Konya and Antalya while the Turkish government has been urging for calm.

The riots against Syrians in Turkey also sparked a backlash in northern Syria.

Footages of a group of people desecrating the Turkish flag and attacking trucks from Turkey circulated across social media.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the “exploitation” of the incidents in Kayseri for provocations in Syria is wrong and warned against provocations. — (IANS)