A group of pro-government journalists and writers in Turkey released a video titled We Are One Nation, in Turkish and Arabic, condemning the recent treatment of refugees and migrants in the country.
In the video, published on Saturday on the Gercek Hayat magazine account, the speakers addressed the Arab world, asking them: “Listen to this call.”
The journalists, speaking in Turkish and Arabic, said Muslims were one nation and claimed some people in Turkey were “sowing the seeds of racism”, apparently referring to reported violent incidents between Turks and foreigners in the country.
“Brothers and sisters from the past to eternity”
Using evocative language of pan-Islamic unity, journalists repeated their messages.
“We, Muslims, are and will remain brothers and sisters of the past for eternity. We are one nation,” they said.
“We Turks are a nation known for its hospitality in all periods of history and which has welcomed Muslims. Those who claim to be Turks and practice racism have nothing to do with the values of the Turkish nation,” the journalists added.
The video goes on to claim that some people in Turkish society are trying to “sow discord among Muslims today like they did 100 years ago.”
They said: “Racism is prohibited in Islam. We are all one people, we are Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Georgians and others. We are all part of the same nation.
Increased violence against non-Turks
Violence and insults between Turks and Syrians have increased in the country, and nationalist discourse has increased following the presidential and parliamentary elections in May, which saw nationalist parties increase their votes.
Community tensions have further increased as Turkey endures the worst economic crisis in decades.
Around 3.3 million Syrian refugees are living in Turkey with temporary protection permits, according to Turkish authorities. According to the United Nations refugee agency, 5.2 million Syrians have been forcibly displaced due to the Syrian conflict which began in 2011.
However, several opposition parties in Turkey say their count shows the number of refugees in Turkey exceeds 10 million.
“Primitives who hate Arabs are only harming the reputation of our country and nation, thereby contributing to the problem,” Oznur Kucuker Sirene, a writer who participated in the video, wrote online.
“I support the voluntary and safe return of refugees to their countries. I am sure that a large part of them will want to leave under favorable economic conditions,” she said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
She added: “The rest can stay with a good integration policy, learning Turkish, active participation in business and education. »
The Turkish government has recently toughened its policy in major cities towards refugees with “temporary protection” status, requiring residents of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and economic hub, to be granted this status but registered as residing elsewhere, to leave the city before a deadline.
Otherwise, they risk being deported to the Turkish cities in which they were registered upon arrival in the country.
The Istanbul governorate says authorities will carry out regular identity checks to detect these people.
The video released by pro-government writers and journalists sparked mixed reactions from Turkish citizens on social media.
X user Nurcan said some people in Turkey apply double standards when it comes to foreigners.
“Those who are hostile to Arabs and expatriates in Turkey are offering pork to the British and Germans in hotels in Belek and Fethiye,” he said on X.
He added: “When the British buy real estate in Fethiye, there is no noise, but when an Arab buys real estate in Trabzon…”
Another user said Arab tourists arriving in the country are considered “the same enemies as incoming refugees.”
“It’s a bad (situation) that breeds another bad (situation). Tourists are separated,” said the user named Ned.
Loppidi disagrees, writing on X that Turks have no problem with tourists, regardless of ethnicity.
“We don’t want refugees, asylum seekers, those who obtain citizenship with money. No one has a problem with tourists,” the user said.
Derin_Turk said Turkey’s refugee policy is self-destructive, writing on water resources have reached an extreme stage, which many refugees in the country are shooting themselves in the head.”
Many others objected to the categorization made in the video.
“Being Turkish has nothing to do with religion,” Jahrein, an influencer, wrote on X, addressing the video’s contributors.
“As a Turk, I am not part of a single nation with the Islamic world. My nation is the Turkish nation,” said Serkan J Inci.
“Arabic is another nation, German is another nation. What are you doing brother? Have you lost your mind?”
Talcin Solak said: “It is called an Ummah, not a nation. And speak for yourself.