Mob attacks workers at Istanbul warehouse thinking they were refugees

A mob on Sunday entered a warehouse in Istanbul’s Ataşehir district thinking there were refugees inside and stabbed a young man who they thought was from Afghanistan, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

A group of 80 people entered the depot and stabbed Jiyan Yaşar, the son of the owner, thinking he was a refugee. The mob quickly fled the scene after the incident and Yasar was taken to a hospital.

Yasar’s father, Ekrem Yaşar said he watched the incident unfold on the security cameras. “I was not in the warehouse at the time, but I received a phone call from one of my workers saying a mob was trying to enter. I told them to remain calm but a short while later found out my son had been stabbed,” he said.

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.

However, according to MEP Tineke Strik, Turkey cannot be considered a safe country for migrants and asylum seekers because it is not bound by the refugee convention when it comes to non-European refugees.

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. Migration experts have said anti-migrant sentiment among the Turkish public has reached a tipping point and could result in a pogrom.

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.

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