Could anyone please give the Syrian children refugees a break?
Turks on Sunday took to social media users to show their sadness and sympathy when pictures of a Syrian refugee boy showed him crying with a bleeding nose after he was beaten by a Turkish restaurant manager in the western city of Izmir.
“Many tears for Syrian refugee boy beaten in Turkey, hope its true the creeps are in jail for attacking him,” one sympathizer wrote on Twitter.
Another called on fellow Turks to “stop hurting kids.”
The boy, identified as Ahmed Hamdo Abeyd, was selling tissues at a restaurant in ?zmir’s Basmane Square.
My heart wreck seeing a syrian refugee boy beaten who is trying to sell tissue to customers in Turkey. I am crying now. Kawawa sobra 🙁
— ?MIA GALE ELAMPARO? (@miamiasicara) July 25, 2015
Ahmed’s seemingly innocent actions enraged the restaurant’s manager who did not want the young boy to come and disturb the customers, the local Daily Sabah reported.
But when the boy resisted, he was slapped by the manager who continued to beat him even when people intervened to stop the assault at the minor.
The pictures also caught the attention of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who urged the Izmir provincial party leader to find out the whereabouts of the child so that the needs of his family are met, the local Hurriyet daily reported on Saturday.
The sad incident comes after six months when a Syrian boy was also beaten by a Burger King manager in Istanbul, which drew public outrage.
“I was only selling tissues. While I was about to sell a pack to a lady there, they pulled me aside and hit me. They stepped on me. Syrians on the other side of the road rushed and poured water on me and I gained consciousness only then,” Ahmed was reported as saying.
A Hurriyet column expressed shock, due to the fact the incident took place in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city and well renowned for its liberal stance.
Izmir is “known for its civilized, westernized stance on about every matter. Izmir people are a highly modern, environmentally friendly, art-loving and fun-loving bunch of people,” according to the column.
Two days after the incident, a search by police found the child and his mother so they could start legal action.
Turkey is home to more than 1.8 million Syrian refugees displaced by the four-year civil war. A small fraction of these refugees live in tent camps in southern Turkey while many poor Syrians are forced to take abandoned buildings and other places as homes.