President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gifted a bicycle to a six-year-old Syrian refugee boy named Hasan H. on Saturday after a video of peddler smashing the little refugee boy's body to the ground caused public outcry in Turkey.
On Thursday, a video footage of a peddler in Turkey's western İzmir province smacking down a Syrian refugee boy for allegedly mocking him with his friends and pushing around the pushcart, was released. The video has since been widely shared on social media, with many people anticipating that the peddler gets charged for his action.
On Saturday, İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak paid a visit to the Syrian boy's home to offer his and the president's good wishes along with a bicycle for little Hasan. The family has also been provided with clothing, shoes and baby care products.
Toprak said that the attitude of the locals towards refugees has been very peaceful, compassionate, hospitable up until today, stating further that the specific event does not represent the city. The governor also assured the refugee child's family of the Turkish government's financial and social support.
Hasan's mother Rava H. said that the family settled in Turkey after fleeing the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo four years ago, and they have been living in İzmir for the last three years.
After finding out that Hasan and his siblings were not attending school, Toprak gave necessary instructions for the kids to be enrolled in a school immediately.
Referring to the day of his being smacked down by the peddler, Hasan said, "I was really frightened and did not tell anyone about the incident, I want to thank the president for his gift." He added that he already forgave the peddler for his action.
The incident reportedly occurred in İzmir's historical Kemeraltı market (bazaar) on Thursday. Musa S., 35, who works as a peddler selling rice with chicken was reportedly harassed by a five to six year-old Syrian refugee boy and his friends for a couple of days prior to the incident.
On the day of the incident, Musa S. reportedly said that the boy had again come near the pushcart, pushing and shoving it around, hitting a woman. The suspect said that was the last straw, which made him run after the boy. After smacking the boy down, the suspect faced harsh negative reactions from the people around.
The suspect may stand trial for causing deliberate injury, although the child left the scene and was apparently unhurt by the attack.
Eyewitnesses said the boy had bruises on his face and briefly passed out. They added that passersby gave water to the crying boy before he left the area with a friend.
İzmir chief of police ordered security officers to detain the suspect. Meanwhile, Governor Toprak posted messages on his Twitter account, saying the suspect's actions of violence were "unacceptable."
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