A graphic video circulating on social media that purportedly shows Turkish soldiers beating a group of young Syrian refugees who were caught trying to enter Turkey, has prompted an investigation by the Turkish military and prosecutors.

In a video footage, posted on Twitter on July 31, several Turkish soldiers are seen beating the refugees and asking them: “Why do you come to Turkey?” “What is in Turkey for you?” “Where are you going to go in Turkey? Are you going to go to İstanbul?” “Are you going to come Turkey again?” and “Why did you help refugees cross the border? Are you refugee smugglers?”

The undated video taken by a Turkish soldier who also beat young Syrians ends with a soldier saying: “We will indeed see you at the outpost,” a clear threat that they will treat them worse at a military outpost.

Young Syrians are seen collecting cigarette butts on the ground, a punishment usually reserved for Turkish soldiers, while being beaten by the soldiers.

@MuratzenciTR, who shared the video on Twitter, said: “When you watch this without sound, you would think that [Bashar Al] Assad’s soldiers are torturing the Syrians. It is a shock when you watch it with sound…”

Following the reaction by thousands of twitter users throughout the day, the soldiers were were detained and an investigation launched into them due to “unacceptable behavior,” said the Turkish military in a written statement on Sunday afternoon, confirming the video.

According to the statement the young Syrians were detained as they were trying to enter Turkey illegally at 11:00 on July 28, and were afterwards deported.

 

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