Refugees targeted following earthquakes: Hate crimes will hurt us all
Arti Gercek reports that People's Bridge Association held a press regarding the attacks against refugees in the earthquake aftermath. In addition to the managers of the association, representatives of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Human Rights Association (IHD), Social Freedom Party (TOP), Izmir Solidarity Academy, and various non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
Reacting to the targeting of refugees in earthquake areas, People's Bridge Association President Cem Terzi said, "This dark mentality that is tantamount to racism lets the actual culpable parties off the hook by creating a gang of criminals, a band of thieves, and an army of looters out of the Syrians."
THE REFUGEES WERE ABANDONED
Stating that the public institutions tasked with fighting against hate speech and discrimination have also abandoned the refugees, Terzi said, “Provincial Migration Administrations and governorates do not provide support such as accommodation, food, clothing, and hygiene products to refugees that they do provide to citizens. They issue an indefinite 60-day permit and condemn the refugees to their fates. However, every service provided for earthquake victims who have citizenship should also be provided to earthquake victims who are refugees.”
“DISCOURSE TURNS TO VIOLENCE”
Terzi warned that if not dealt with, hate speech will soon turn into hate crimes and said, "This will inflict irreparable wounds between peoples, destroy innocent people once again, leaving the perpetrators, those who pave the way for racist attacks or those who remain silent, with a lifetime of shame.”
“HATRED WILL RAZE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY”
Terzi said, “Please, let's not target refugees. Let's refrain from hate speech. Let's not commit hate crimes. We are all only humans before anything. Who benefits from pitting those under this wreckage against each other? Who benefits from making the poorest hostile to the fellow poor? Who benefits from pushing anti-immigrant rhetoric at a time like this? Is this what it means to be in opposition [to the government]? Is this how we hold those primarily responsible, the sovereigns, accountable? If a wave of racist violence spreads, who will be at fault? Do you think such violence would limit itself to targeting only immigrants? Wouldn't the racist violence provoked by hate crimes raze the entire country?”