The alleged brutal beating of a young Syrian boy in Turkey has caused an outpouring of sympathy and rage, reports the Daily Mail.
Ahmed Hamdo Abeyd, a young child and refugee from Syria, has sold tissues on the streets of the city of Izmir, Turkey, since fleeing to western Turkey. One day when Ahmed was trying to earn money, a restaurant manager and several others came out and reportedly began to beat the boy. They claimed Ahmed was disturbing the customers, according to the Daily Mail.
“I was only selling tissues. While I was about to sell a pack to a lady there, they pulled me aside and hit me,” Ahmed told the local Hurriyet Daily following the attack. “They stepped on me. Syrians on the other side of the road rushed and poured water on me and I gained consciousness only then.”
Pictures of the boy and the beating have since gone viral, sparking outcry across Turkey as well as the rest of the globe. The pictures show the young boy cowering with a bloody nose and tears streaming down his face.
On Twitter, one tweeter commented, “Many tears for Syrian refugee boy beaten in Turkey, hope it’s true the creeps are in jail for attacking him.” Yet another user online called the incident “sickening,” the Daily Mail documents.
Even the Turkish prime minister found out about the attack. He has since demanded that the provincial party leader find Ahmed so he can receive care, the Daily Mail reports.
Sadly, thousands of Syrian children roam the streets of Turkey’s cities, just like Ahmed. The country has taken in approximately 2 million refugees from Syria. Of the estimated 300,000 refugees that live in the capital city, Istanbul, children make up about half, reports CBC News.
"We sell tissues, what can we do?" 12-year-old Hussein Yilmaz asked CBC News. The young Syrian child, who dropped out of school to work on the streets, explains he must sell tissues to help his mother, who no longer has a job, and his injured father.