Istanbul police evacuate refugees after clashes with locals

A group of refugees allegedly stabbed a local man to death in an Istanbul district, prompting angry mourners to go on a rampage, before police intervened.

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Turkish police cordoned part of Fatih district in Istanbul after a crowd directed their anger at refugees in the neighbourhood.

Authorities evacuated refugees from Istanbul's Fatih district on Tuesday, following an attack on an Afghan national by angry mourners at the funeral of a man allegedly stabbed to death by a refugee on Monday.

Ramazan Sahin intervened to protect a local woman a small group of Syrian and Afghan men were allegedly harassing. In the ensuing fracas Sahin was stabbed.

The funeral of the 24-year-old was held on Tuesday.

“He went outside after he heard noise from outside. Youngsters in the neighbourhood started a fight with almost 60 people, including Syrians and Afghans,” said Salih Arslan, his uncle.

“My nephew lost his life at the age of 24 after being stabbed by one of them,” he said.

Angry mourners in Tuesday's funeral procession attacked an Afghan national. Police intervened to disperse the mourners and saved the bystander. But the crowd then turned on other refugees given safe haven in the neighbourhood.

Turkish authorities said around 300 refugees were evacuated to ease the tension.

It was not immediately clear if anyone had been arrested in connection with the initial stabbing or the subsequent protest. Authorities have not said what will happen to the refugees they evacuated from the district.

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, including 2.7 million Syrians who have fled the civil war in their country, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

TRTWorld and agencies