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Are Syrians in Turkey no longer Erdogan’s 'brothers'?

Desperate to maintain its support base, the Turkish government limits Syrians access to basic services and initiates mass deportations.
Demonstrators hold placards in support of Syrian refugees during a protest against Turkish government's recent refugee policies in Istanbul, Turkey, July 27, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC199EECAD00

Picture this: The Turkish flag on a bright red background features a crescent and a star. Now replace the star with the image of a family holding hands and fleeing — and add threatening sharp teeth on the crescent facing the family. That was the image created by a Syrian living in the United States and shared on social media with the caption, “Syrian refugees in Turkey.” This image became a source of intense debate as news from Istanbul about mass deportations of Syrians back to war zones spread. Is Turkey becoming more dangerous for Syrians?

In early July, Turkish police conducted raids all around Istanbul focusing on businesses in Fatih, Esenyurt, Bagcilar, Kucukcekmece and Sultangazi — districts with a significant Syrian presence.

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