Crimes involving Syrians in Turkey not on rise
The Interior Ministry on Wednesday rejected allegations that security incidents involving Syrians were on the rise in Turkey, pointing out the fact that crimes linked to them actually went down this year.
In a statement published on its official website, the ministry said crimes committed by Syrians in Turkey showed a five percent decrease in the first six months of 2017 compared with figures from the same period last year.
"The average annual rate of incidents in Turkey that involved Syrians between 2014 and 2017 is 1.32 percent," it said.
The ministry added majority of the incidents reported had been caused by disagreements among Syrian refugees themselves.
Allegations that security incidents involving Syrians were increasing across Turkey were "far from reality", it said.
"The rate of incidents that involve our Syrian guests do not sync with the figure being told to the public," it added.
It also said recent media reports suggesting occasional tensions between Syrian refugees and Turks were "distorted and exaggerated".
It said such reports were being exaggerated to create indignation among the public, and turn it into an element of instigation and domestic politics.
The ministry said Turkish authorities, including the Directorate General of Migration Management were taking necessary legal steps against people involved in the crimes and those who were spreading rumors.
Eight people were arrested across Turkey for instigating hatred and enmity among people, according to Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office.
The action followed arrest warrants issued by the office for 15 people who were accused of calling for street protest against refugees on social media platforms.
"All measures are being taken to ensure peace and security for our country and citizens," the ministry said.
Turkey, which shares a long border with Syria, now hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees -- more than any other country in the world.