Sözcü’s anti-migrant reporting triggers attack on Somali restaurant in Ankara

A Somali restaurant in Ankara’s central Kızılay district was attacked on Tuesday following anti-migrant reporting by the Sözcü daily, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.

The group broke the restaurant’s windows and attacked its employees, according to Gazete Duvar.

The attack came after Sözcü published an article on April 15 titled “Central Ankara has become Somalia.”

“Businessmen and asylum seekers from Somalia have turned two streets in Ankara’s central district of Kızılay into their own country,” Sözcü said in a tweet sharing its report.


Hate crimes against refugees and migrants, who are blamed for many of Turkey’s social and economic troubles, have been escalating in Turkey in recent years.

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.

During a program on Habertürk TV on the evening of December 14, famous journalist and program host Fatih Altaylı made controversial remarks about the more than 3 million Syrian refugees in the country while discussing the coronavirus pandemic and the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine with his guests.

When one of the guests claimed the refugees played a role in the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Altaylı said: “They are the owners of Turkey, we are like guests. They will soon drive us out. This is because they do what they want and have no responsibility for anything. The [coronavirus] bans are not binding for them, only for us.”

Speaking before parliament’s Migration and Integration Committee in November, Professor Murat Erdoğan of the Turkish-German University Center for Migration and Integration said even in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), 80 percent were against granting refugees political rights or work permits, arguing that refugees have become a “burden” on the country.

The majority of Turkish society resists accommodating refugees, and migration policies are ineffective in integration, which is pushing refugees into ghettoization and causing social division, according to Professor Erdoğan.

Most recently a Syrian refugee was assaulted by a group of streetcleaners in March in southern Antalya province. The man was beaten and his motorcycle was crushed with a garbage truck and set on fire.

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