Ruling AKP expels ex-deputy over ‘We don’t want Syrians’ tweet

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Pelin Gündeş Bakır (standing) is seen with President Erdoğan.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has terminated the membership of a former deputy who opposes granting citizenship to Syrian refugees and posted “We don’t want Syrians” on Twitter, Turkish media reported on Monday.

Pelin Gündeş Bakır, a former deputy from Kayseri province, was referred to the AKP’s disciplinary committee last week following her tweet.

“The Turkish Republic belongs to Turks, and it will stay that way,” she tweeted. “The spirit that will keep Turkey strong is Turkish nationalism.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP have supported the Syrian opposition since the beginning of the country’s civil war in 2011.

As Turkey hosts nearly 3.6 million Syrian refugees, anti-immigration sentiment has been growing among the Turkish public.

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