Racist attack on Kurdish seasonal workers in Düzce

Another racist attack on Kurdish seasonal workers has taken place in western Turkey. A mob gathered in front of their accommodation and made it clear with threats that they would not tolerate Kurds in the area.

Kurdish seasonal workers have been attacked by Turkish racists in Akçakoca district in the province of Düzce in northwestern Turkey. The Kurds from Mardin were employed there in the hazelnut harvest.

Muhammed Günel, one of the affected workers, told the Mezopotamya Agency (MA) that the group of eight from Mardin has been in Düzce for a month. On Monday evening, a window of the apartment where the group is staying was smashed with a stone. Two people were standing in front of the apartment, stating that they would not tolerate Kurds in Düzce. According to Günel, these people threatened to return with stones and guns if the group did not leave the apartment within ten minutes.

"There were women in the apartment. When the window broke, everyone got scared. We went outside and talked," Günel noted. After that, he said, twenty to thirty other people came outside the apartment. He then called the police twice and described the situation. A police officer answered that he could do nothing as long as nothing happened.

After a while, the police arrived anyway. Instead of dealing with the attackers, the policemen searched the Kurdish workers, Günel told: "The policemen did not touch them and took me to the police station together with my colleagues Hasan Çiçek and Mehmet Furkan Çiçek. There our statements were taken and we were presented with a protocol. In the protocol, we were portrayed as the guilty ones. We refused to sign it. After that, we were taken to the hospital; I had broken glass in my hand. We wanted to get a medical report, but this was prevented by the policemen. They even had the note erased that we had been to the hospital. We were also given an alcohol test. Of the thirty attackers, only two people were brought with us but they did not have to take a test. After that, we were taken back to the station and told to stop following the incident."

Günel said that neighbors filmed what happened in front of the apartment after the stone throwing but did not release the video for fear of the attackers. The eight Kurds are now packing their things to return to Mardin.