Roma Forced To Leave Homes In Turkish Town

Roma live in many nations throughout the world, but there is one thing that is a common experience for these embattled people– forces of hate are always present to make their lives uncomfortable. Local Roma in the province of Selendi in Turkey have been forced to leave the town and will be relocated to another place of residence after violence broke out against them. Reports indicate violence began when a Roma tried to smoke in a coffee house according to one account, although another says it began when the shop owner refused to serve Romas. A few days later a mob of about 1,000 assaulted the Romas destroying tents and other property. Local Roma leaders blame the mayor of the district for stirring up trouble by making anti-Roma comments which served to stir up bigots in the community.

Roma residents will be relocated to another district. Many Turkish human rights advocates believe the relocation only serves to placate bigots and the problem remains, the only difference being the absence of Romas in the town.

Necati Kaplan of the Aegean Roma Association put it clearly: “As Roma, we have never thrown a stick or stone at the flag, nation or government. We were born here and we will die here. We’re calling on the prime minister to stick up for the Roma. We are not terrorists.”