Syrian refugees under attack in Istanbul

Syrians face violence because they are resented by many working-class Turks who find that they cannot compete with a Syrian willing to work for very low wages. Many Turkish employers also prefer pliant Syrian refugees to other Turks, particularly the Kurds who previously used to occupy many of the same jobs as Syrians but who are stereotyped by the Turk employers to be difficult to control and arrogant. A lot of the violence toward the Syrians comes from these Kurds, who also use the refugees as a proxy group to vent their anger toward Turkish society for marginalizing them while "welcoming" the refugees, who they view as the ruling party's pet group. Alevis in Turkey also generally dislike the refugees for this same reason, and also supporters of the secular opposition parties who believe the refugees will be used as a vote-bank by Erdogan's party. The Syrians are also resented for receiving direct cash grants from aid agencies. On their side, Syrians have arrived in Turkey by the millions (3 million and counting), don't speak Turkish, and a vast majority of them have indicated they will not ever return to Syria.

But what is surprising is how easily Turks believe rumors about refugees, how very quickly their whole society soured on the refugees---less than a year into the Syrian civil war, and when only 80,000 Syrian refugees were living in the country in far-flung refugee camps outside the cities, large majorities of Turks already wanted them out. If the Turks hate Syrians this much, i don't think they will tolerate a Somali diaspora presence. I also think the Turk's treatment of the Syrians reveals a lot about their national character, and should give pause to all of those presenting them as humanitarian people here to "save" Somalia. No, the Turks are not humanitarian, and they have an agenda behind their Somalia presence. Not saying we should kick them out, but just be aware of it and be ready to balance it if need be.
 

Trending

Top