Three minors who had thrown a Molotov cocktail at the apartment of a Turkish family in Germany’s Solingen were released by a court, one of the victims said Sunday.
Sibel Işini, a mother of three and a victim of the attack, in which she injured her hand, told Anadolu Agency (AA) she has not slept well since that night out of fear it will happen again, adding that she has been keeping watch on the balcony to protect her children.
Noting that a mask with a swastika drawn on it was found near their apartment following the incident, Işini said she thought it was related to the attack and suspects an arson attempt may have been made against them.
“A bottle containing a flammable substance was thrown onto the balcony. Suddenly, there was a fireball, and I threw myself to the floor. I shouted and woke up the children. My hand was injured while putting out the fire with my son. It could have been worse. I was on the balcony half an hour before,” she said.
Işini said she learned that the 14-year-old attacker and the two 13-year-old children who helped him were caught but released two hours later by a court.
“I’ve been sleepless since the night of the incident. I’ve been depressed. I’m constantly checking how my children are. These attackers did not throw stones at the glass. They threw a Molotov cocktail. An attempt was made to kill us. The attack took place even though my light was on, and now it is called ‘a coincidence.’ Does a coincidence always find Turks here? I don’t understand that.”
She went on to say that although they live in Germany, many Turkish officials came to visit them after the incident, however, no German officials have yet to visit the family.
Işini’s children – Kubilay, Selim and Dilara – said they have had psychological problems since the attack and struggle to sleep at night.
Fatih Zingali, a lawyer for the Işini family, said the perpetrator of the incident and those who helped him were released on the grounds that they were underage, despite the fact that they carried out the act.
Last week, in a written statement, the prosecutor’s office and the police said a bottle containing a flammable liquid was thrown on the balcony of the apartment on Schwert Street around 2 a.m. (12 a.m. GMT).
The attack brought to mind a previous attack. On May 29, 1993, the Turkish immigrant family of Mevlüde and Durmuş Genç was victimized in a similar arson attack in the same city. Three girls and two women were killed and 14 others injured, including several children, by the fire set by four young far-right extremists.
Three of the assailants were sentenced to 10 years in prison, while a fourth got 15 years.
Germany has experienced a rise in racism and anti-Muslim hatred in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of neo-Nazi groups and the far-right opposition Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Germany is home to 81 million people and hosts the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Of the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish descent.
The Turkish community in Europe is concerned with the rising trend of Islamophobia and Turkophobia in Western countries and has called on European states to escalate measures against hate crimes.
Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have frequently urged European decision-makers and politicians to take a stance against racism and other types of discrimination that have threatened the lives of millions of people living within the bloc’s borders.