Turkiye man kidnaps, kills Syria boy as family fails to pay ransom – Middle East Monitor

A Turkish man kidnapped a young Syrian boy and killed him when he was unable to secure a €400,000 ($436,800) ransom from his family, as anti-Syrian and refugee sentiment continues to rise within Turkiye.

According to reports on social media and on small Greek and Turkish media outlets, 12-year-old Khaled Suleiman, the son of a jeweller from Syria who resided in the southern Turkish city of Mersin, was reportedly approached and grabbed by the older Turkish citizen, Hussein Cengiz, while playing carelessly in the garden of his apartment building.

He was kidnapped, tied up and kept in a basement by Cengiz, who called the boy’s family and demanded a ransom of €400,000 ($436,800), threatening to kill him if they called the police. After informing the police of the situation, it was reportedly concluded that the boy had not been taken from the apartment building.

It was afterwards discovered that it was Cengiz, the man who works at and guards the building, who had kidnapped Suleiman, with him being the only one with keys to the basement and with the building’s cameras being deactivated during the hours of the incident.

The Turkish man then killed the boy when he could not secure the ransom, and his lifeless body was found in the building’s basement, wrapped in a carpet and with signs of suffocation. Cengiz was reportedly arrested by Turkish authorities, and further details are yet to be revealed by Turkish media, which is currently focusing primarily on the upcoming elections.

The exact motive of Cengiz has not been established and it remains unclear whether he committed the crime indiscriminately or because the boy was Syrian. It comes at a time, however, when anti-Syrian and refugee sentiment is rife within the country as many Turks grow frustrated with the economic crisis and blame it primarily on the influx and hosting of refugees.

READ: Turkish ultranationalists should know that Assad is their enemy, not Syrian refugees

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