German police detained an unidentified suspect who threatened to kill a Turkish woman and her 7-year-old son after a racist rant. Forty-five-year-old Meral Başar was in a tram in Bonn with her son when the suspect approached them. She said she did not know the man who told them "I will kill you all" and "go back to your country." The 51-year-old suspect was detained on Monday.
"I was devastated, and my son was traumatized [after the racist attack]. We feel a bit relieved that he was caught. I hope he would be justly sentenced," she told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Germany has a 3 million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens of Turkish descent whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.
Racist attacks against Turks were rare earlier, but they gradually increased in the 1990s during which several Turks were killed in arson attacks by suspected neo-Nazis. Since then, attacks have been sporadic but enough to raise concerns in the Turkish community as far-right groups went mainstream in the past few years, along with anti-Turkish discourse among far-right politicians.
Last week, a taxi driver of Turkish descent in Cologne was victim of a verbal and physical racist attack by a German customer.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas acknowledged that Turks in Germany still face hostility and discrimination while speaking at the 25th anniversary in May of a neo-Nazi arson attack that killed five Turks.
Germany has also witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years fueled by propaganda from far-right parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.
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