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A Reyhanli, Retaliation Against Syrian Refugees

Kader Kadem | 14:58 | 0 Comments
Turkey was hit by a double attack on May 11 in the city of Reyhani,Turkey was hit by a double attack on May 11 in the city of Reyhani, which hosts many Syrian refugees. For the latter, it became almost impossible to cope with the resentment of the population.

In the moments following the explosion of the first car on May 11, 2013, people rushed to the central square of Reyhanli to help the wounded. That's when the second car exploded. "Fifteen men died before my eyes," says Kasseim, 26, ran the Syrian Center for Media, where his office is located.

Many residents then fled, believing that they were bombs coming from the other side of the border. When they returned to the scene, he says, armed with knives, belts and people were attacking the Syrians even though they helped out victims from the rubble.
The people of Reyhanli are angry and their reaction is justified. The two explosions killed 46 people and injured more than 100. They ravaged the city center, destroying countless shops and offices. Of the 60,000 inhabitants of the city, there are few who have not been affected by the enormous human and material losses they have caused.

Internationally, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, attributed the attack to agents of the regime of Bashar Assad, while Damascus rejected the accusation by criminalizing terrorist groups. But Reyhanli, anger towards other players. Many people blame the government for provoking the attacks by supporting Syrian rebels and show the media the finger.

Some refugees prefer to return to Syria

However, some people, the main culprits are the many Syrians who, seeking refuge in the city to escape the atrocities of the other side of the border, have pushed the regime of Bashar al-Assad to take targeted .

Today Reyhanli is not a shelter for them. Since the explosion, the Syrians are hunted down and severely hit by the angry crowd, stores were looted and vandalized cars. Some even consider the popular resentment makes life in the most dangerous city in the civil war they had wanted to flee from refuge there.

May 15 at 9:00, a crowd of Syrians, including many women and children, were already pressed against the gates of the border checkpoint of Bab al-Hawa in the hope of returning to their country devastated by war . Fear of traveling in a car registered in Syria, most of them committed by Turkish drivers. But the latter, unable to pass the border, had renewed in Reyhanli, dropping them and loading them on the floor where they are now waiting for the doors to open.

Many of them do not have passports - they had lost fleeing Syria had never been - and agents notaient their names on slips of paper to try to keep track of those smuggled into Turkey.

In the middle of bags, boxes, carpets and huge refrigerator that are all the property of his family, a man who comes in the name of Abu Rami, confides that he has not much else to do but wait and hope soon to cross the border. "Reyhanli was a nice place, we escaped the massacres in Syria refuge from us, but today, because of the explosion, we may have to go back." He and his family felt that if they wanted to ensure their safety, they were from sacrificing three months' rent paid in advance. They decided to return to their region, Aleppo, even if it is the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the civil war. "Now we run from Turkey, he said, we go in asking God to help us."

Assaults and beatings

Not far away, leaning on crutches, stands Hassan Al-Shamrani, a fighter wounded Free Syrian Army a year ago in a skirmish with the forces of Bashar al-Assad and, after undergoing major surgery, was recovering in Turkey. He says he returned to his family in Syria continue his recovery despite the lack of hospital facilities. "I'm not cured yet, but today they kill the Syrians here and I'm scared."

A Reyhanli, tension remains high: assaults, beatings, murders committed in retaliation for Syrian explosions, rumors - false, according Kasseim - that some would have burned the Turkish flag and would be delivered to other manifestations of hostility towards Turkey.

Fearing to leave their homes, most of the refugees live in hiding. "It reminds me of Syria," said Kasseim, who spent the night of the attack trapped in an office with 11 other people without food. "We were alone, we were afraid of the police and armed groups and no one answered the phone." Many refugees, he said, feel that their only option is to leave and never return. "All the Syrians who have lived this experience will never return to Turkey," he says.
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