Agence France-Presse, August 12, 2021
The Turkish police have detained dozens of people after a mob of angry men smashed up shops and cars believed to be belonging to Syrian migrants in the capital Ankara amid growing anti-migrant sentiments in the country that hosts 3.6 million Syrians.
The unrest broke out late on Wednesday in response to a fight between locals and migrants in which one Turkish national was stabbed to death.
Images on social media showed dozens of shouting men breaking through police cordons and then attacking cars and shops believed to be owned by Syrian families.
They smashed windows with stones and crowbars and tore down the metal grill of one store before breaking in and ransacking its shelves.
The Ankara police said they had detained 76 people who were either suspected of involvement in the violence or of disseminating incendiary social media posts.
The Anadolu state news agency said two “foreign nationals” have also been arrested and charged with homicide over the deadly fight.
The unrest in Ankara comes with polls showing anti-migrant sentiments riding high among many Turks.
Turkey’s main opposition party last month made waves by promising to send Syrians “back home” if it came to power in a general election scheduled for 2023.