According to the report, four out of 50 causalities and six of the injured were Syrian refugees. The report remarked that blood samples have been taken from the families who have lost their relatives in the attacks.
The report said that a Syrian refugee who was lynched by radical local residents in Reyhanli after the attacks had been recorded as killed in the explosion, and that a local resident, Ayhan Altintas, had been stabbed while trying to prevent the attack on the Syrian refugee.
According to the report, “a group of radical nationalists attacked Syrian refugees and attempted to lynch them, also damaging cars with Syrian plates after the explosions”. The report said that the Syrian refugees in the district have been forced to leave the district or hide themselves in their houses because of the attacks by these nationalist groups since the conflict that erupted in the district on 6 May. “These groups, which are being joined by more people every day, hold the Syrian refugees in the district responsible for the incident, often patrolling in the district, blocking the ways of Syrian citizens and attempting to lynch them. Hundreds of police officers are mobilized in Reyhanli but they are just a mere spectator to these incidents, just like it happened during the prevention of our delegation’s access to the district by these groups”. The report said that these groups had also tried to lynch a dumb person from Reyhanli, supposing he was Syrian, and could only be prevented by some people around who knew the dumb man and rushed him to the hospital soon afterwards.
The report remarked that some of the injured refugees had been treated secretly in their houses at night time as they couldn’t leave their houses for security reasons after the attacks. It pointed out that many of the Syrian families here were trying to meet their daily needs from outside by means of their neighbors and relatives.
The report underlined that the damaged buildings and areas at the scene of the explosions still remained unrepaired by 13 May, thus making it difficult for the local people to overcome the trauma of the bloody incident and giving a ground for probable provocations.
The report also underlined the following points as to the ongoing problems in the district;
-Aid organizations have suspended their activities after the incident, unable to reach aid to the district or to Syria because of the threats of attack they are facing.
– Nor can official aids into Syria take place since it was announced that entrance and exit from the Cilvegözü border gate will be suspended for one week.
– The lack of officers at public enterprises is aggrieving the people of Reyhanli where the population has reached 160 thousand with the settlement of 100 thousand Syrian refugees in the district. The lack of place and medical staff at hospitals is one of the major problems in the district where people are of the opinion that the problems they are facing are caused by the refugees. This is why the aids for the refugees is leaving a negative influence on local people.
– Local people’s reaction against the refugees has been multiplied recently as more Turkish men have left their wives and married Syrian women or remarried them as their second wives until before the incident.
– The border crossing points of Atme, Kar beyaz, Güveççi, Hacipasa have been made open to any sort of utilization because of the intense transfer of aid materials to Syria by aid organizations, permission of easy crossing for people going in and out of Syria and illegal border traders. This situation constitutes a threat for border security.
– A number of intelligence services active in and around Reyhanli are said to be in contact with Syrians and guiding them. Separately, many other international establishments are claimed to be carrying out intelligence works in the region in the scope of the projects they are intending to run. It is known to many by now that officials, NGOs and opinion leaders from Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, France, England, Holland, USA and Germany are holding talks with many people in the region. Besides, many foreign people pretending to be journalists are also active in the region, allegedly crossing the Syrian border illegally and getting into touch with opponent groups in Syria.
-The chaos environment in the district allows anyone to label any other as a supporter or opponent to the Baath regime, with the bureaucrats in the district remaining passive in the face of this danger. The government should intervene in this environment in the district as soon as possible, appoint officers to the Cilvegözü border gate, gendarme and police units, judicial authorities, camps, hospitals, head official’s office and the office of the governor to see the importance of the matter and to prevent probable conflicts in the region.
-Since the incident in Reyhanli, social media is spreading news and reports on alleged capture of cars loaded with bombs in the mainly Alewit towns of Harbiye and Samandagi.
-Fanatic radical groups are spreading propaganda at the tents families of victims have put up to accept visits of condolence. These groups which are voicing words of revenge and being joined by more and more people every day should be intervened and prevented from threatening the Syrian refugees in the district.
-In the event that the Syrian refugees and aid organizations in Reyhanli are sent away from the district, as is wanted by radical groups, there will also exist a risk of a conflict between these groups and the circle of tradespeople who are generating a remarkable income thanks to the Syrian refugees in the district.
-The fact that some news sites, Middle East experts, NGO representatives, sect leaders and writers put emphasis on sectarian tension will definitely lead Hatay to a deadlock, chaos and sectarian tension and serve for nothing except for increasing the number of fanatic groups in the region.
ANF – Hatay 15.05.2013