A 17-year-old Syrian has been stabbed to death in an apparent racist attack in the south of Turkiye.
According to Gazete Duvar, Faris Muhammed Al-Ali was stabbed to death on Sunday by the 16-year-old son of a Turkish woman working at the same factory as him.
Al-Ali was studying medicine and was working in the factory to cover his university fees.
It is reported that Al-Ali physically bumped into his Turkish colleague at the factory a week prior to the stabbing, he then apologised to her. But later her son and four other people confronted Al-Ali and challenged him about bumping into his mother, they then hit him and stabbed him.
Bu yıl Tıp Fakültesini kazanan, babası Suriye'de şehit düşen, 17 yaşındaki Suriyeli Fares Elali, Hatay'da bir grub tarafından bıçaklanarak öldürüldü pic.twitter.com/U4E0leGZdu
— ▶️ Mülteci Medyası (@multecimedyasi) September 4, 2022
According to social media posts, Al-Ali's father died in the Syrian war, and he had moved to Turkiye to seek refuge.
In the first decade of the Syrian war over 350,000 Syrians died, the UN said, adding that this was likely to be an undercount. At least 100,000 people have been arbitrarily detained and tortured by the Syrian government, including medical personnel.
Over two thirds of the population have been displaced and over 11 million people need international humanitarian assistance to survive.
Footage from Al-Ali's funeral circulated online. The video shows crowds of people walking through the streets carrying a coffin shrouded with a green cloth.
1. Bu görüntüler dün Hatay'da düzenlenen aynı iş yerinde çalıştığı ve hakaret edip fiziksel şiddet uyguladığı Türk kadının 16 yaşındaki oğluyla kavga ederken bıçaklanarak hayatını kaybeden Suriyeli Faris Muhammed Al-Ali'nin cenazesineden. pic.twitter.com/RKZUFHuSfK
— İlay Aksoy (@ilay_aksoy) September 6, 2022
Rising anti-refugee sentiment in Turkiye has been an issue for months now, with many expressing fears for their safety and future in the country.
I met with Syrian brothers in Turkey and they all speak about the racism they face there and how they're looked down upon. One brother even gave his daughter an English name so that she'd have a better chance in school and education. https://t.co/O3OCvhi7Uw
— muslim daily (@muslimdaily_) September 4, 2022
Over five million foreign nationals live in Turkiye, 3.7 million of whom are Syrian refugees.
Refugees have been scapegoated for the deprecation of the lira, inflation and the severe economic crisis in Turkiye.
Politicians have called on Syrians to return to their home country, whilst public figures have expressed their hatred for asylum seekers online.
In July, the Turkish brand LC Waikiki came under fire after it withdrew children's t-shirts from shops in Turkiye following protests over the fact their designs included the Arabic script.
In one tweet, commenting on the t-shirts, a user wrote: "I'm ok with English, French and German, the only language I have a problem with is Arabic."