Turkish police arrest hundreds after anti-Syrian riots in several cities

Turkish police arrested hundreds of people during anti-Syrian riots in several cities which erupted after a Syrian man had been accused of harassing a child. Turkey, which hosts around 3.2 million Syrian refugees according to UN data, has been shaken several times by bouts of xenophobic violence in recent years.

Turkish authorities said Tuesday they had detained over 470 people after anti-Syrian riots in several cities sparked by accusations that a Syrian man had harassed a child.

Tensions escalated from Sunday following violence in a central Anatolian city after a mob went on the rampage, damaging businesses and properties belonging to the Syrians.

"474 people were detained after the provocative actions" carried out against Syrians in Turkey, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on X.

A group of men targeted Syrian businesses and properties in Kayseri on Sunday, with videos on social media showing a grocery store being set on fire.

In one of the videos a Turkish man was heard shouting: "We don't want any more Syrians! We don't want any more foreigners."

A court in Kayseri ordered the Syrian man's arrest late on Monday, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said, adding: "The child and her family are under our state's protection".

Officials said the child was a Syrian girl, who was related to the man accused of harassing her.


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