Turkey accuses provocation suspects of being foreign spies

Two suspects detained for provoking refugees against security officers in Istanbul are accused of being European spies

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

One suspect named Nora Sophia who was detained during the refugee clashes in Istanbul was reported to be a German citizen.

Two of the five suspects who were arrested for sparking tensions between Syrian refugees and the Turkish security forces in Istanbul on Monday, are being accused of being foreign spies, according to the media reports.

The two suspects, Nora Sophia and Charlotte Lecaille, who were allegedly provoking the refugees against the security forces, were revealed to be German and French citizens, while the other three were Syrian nationals.

The suspects were detained during the conflict which occurred after Turkish police officers attempted to block the advance of the refugee group towards Turkey's Edirne province, which borders eastern Europe. Security forces blocked the group, because European countries did not confirm their acceptance and Bulgaria has deployed soldiers to the border. 

Sophia and Lecaille were said to have strongly provoked the refugee group to move further and clash with security officers.

The two women were also reported to have shared provocative posts on their social media accounts during the Gezi Park protests.

Over 200 Syrian refugees began marching on Sunday night to reach the western Turkish province of Edirne, which borders both Greece and Bulgaria, after waiting at the Istanbul's main bus terminal for days.

The refugees started to walk along the Istanbul-Edirne highway late on Sunday, leaving from the main bus terminal in Istanbul, as they were not sold tickets since Bulgarian authorities deployed soldiers to the border in order to block their entrance.

Turkish authorities wanted to prevent harm from coming to the refugees, which include children and ordered them to withdraw.

The refugees who gathered at the terminal in Istanbul, had been demanding to be allowed to travel to Europe by land instead of risking their lives by attempting to cross the Aegean Sea in overcrowded migrant boats.

Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to cross into European countries, as the country's location serves as a bridge between the Middle East and Europe.

Syrian refugees escaping violence fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012. One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world according to United Nations registration records.

Nearly two million are hosted in Turkey, home to the world’s largest refugee population.


TRTWorld and agencies