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Anti-Arab racism in Turkiye: Kuwaiti tourist beaten in Turkiye's Trabzon

September 19, 2023 at 4:08 pm

People attend the national unity march as part of the July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day’s events to mark July 15 defeated coup’s 1st anniversary in Trabzon, Turkey on July 15, 2017 [Hakan Burak Altunöz / Anadolu Agency]

A man in Turkey had been detained in connection with an assault on a Kuwaiti tourist in the northern city of Trabzon, local Turkish media reports.

A video clip of Saturday’s incident has gone viral in the Arab world, sparking widespread outrage.

In the video, a man, reportedly Turkish, is involved in a heated discussion with a Kuwaiti national, who is then struck in the face.

The tourist, identified as 46-year-old Mohammed Al-Ajmi, was apparently knocked to the ground unconscious, to the horror of his family and passers-by. The Turkish judiciary said that an investigation into the incident has been launched.

The city’s officials apologised to the Kuwaiti national, saying: “This unfortunate individual incident is not supported of the residents of Trabzon in any way, and [the perpetrator] is not worthy of the good hospitality of Trabzon and Turkiye.”

There has been a rise in anti-Arab sentiment in Turkiye in recent years, mostly targeting Syrian refugees who fled the devastating civil war in their country, which has killed at least 500,000 people and forcibly displaced millions.

READ: Turkiye says racism, xenophobia ‘one of greatest threats’ to social peace