The Turkish police stormed a restaurant owned by a Somali citizen in Kızılay in central Ankara on Friday on the pretext of an inspection on a day the restaurant was holding an opening.
When opposition MP Mustafa Yeneroğlu, who was outside the restaurant for the opening, reacted to the police, a police officer snapped at him. The officer was later discovered to be head of the illegal migration office at the Ankara police department.
Yeneroğlu said to the police, “You are practising racism in the middle of Kızılay. You should not follow unlawful instructions. You should know your limits.”
The police officer snapped, “It’s clear what happens to people like you. It is you who are corrupt. Talk like a man.”
Meseret Karakaya, a Somali Turkish citizen co-managing the restaurant, protested that they were faced with a racist attitude: “Is working legally in Turkey an offence? I’m a Turkish citizen. I can’t work as a Turkish citizen here. I’m not allowed to work (…) This is racism. Tell me, is it an offence? Is it an offence to be black?”
She also said to Jin News, “The restaurant has been raided, the customers forced to leave. They don’t want foreigners here. So there’s no point in staying any longer (…) The customers are afraid to come, because they know they’ll be forced to leave on the pretext of an inspection anyway.”
After the MP had left, the police ordered them to paint over the restaurant’s sign with white paint, because the colours on it, yellow, red and green, were ‘upsetting’.
The three colours are frequently subjected to bans in Turkey because they are the colours of the Kurdish national flag.