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Mob justice reveals anti-Syrian sentiment in Turkey

Two violent incidents on the same day have ignited a storm of anti-Syrian rhetoric over Turkish social media, exposing the fear and suspicion still prevalent in the world's largest host of Syrian refugees.
Two Syrian refugees walk along fences in Nizip refugee camp, near the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep province, Turkey, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTSU1PW

A beautiful summer day in Turkey’s Black Sea town of Samsun turned ugly on July 2, when a mob tried to lynch two Syrian men for allegedly taking pictures of women swimming and sunbathing at a local beach. The police used batons to disperse the crowd and save the two injured men, who were hospitalized.

In a similar incident that same day in the capital, Ankara, residents of the working-class neighborhood of Demetevler brawled with Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The fight broke out over rumors that a Syrian man had raped a 5-year-old girl. Police used water cannons and tear gas to break up the fight. One Iraqi Turkmen man was stabbed during the scuffle and taken to a hospital for treatment.

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