Turkish authorities released Syrian YouTuber Samer Wahoud, known as “Son of Syria,” days after he was arrested on charges of insulting the Turkish state on social media.
Syrian opposition media quoted sources close to Wahoud saying that the decision to release him came late on Monday night, five days after he was detained in prison reserved for foreigners in preparation for his deportation. The decision came after the intervention of his lawyer, who could overturn the deportation decision without providing further details about the legal proceedings of the case.
Last week, Wahoud’s case emerged at a time of increasing incitement against Syrians in Turkey and their deportation to “safe zones” for reasons such as talking about the Turkish state and its symbols on social media.
Videos bearing Wahoud’s name went viral on TikTok in which he talks about Turkey after news of a rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus. However, those close to Wahoud said these were fabricated videos or that the lawsuits against him by Turkish police were malicious.
Wahoud, 26, has been providing videos about electronic games for years to about seven million subscribers to his channel, specifically, the mobile game PUB-G. Besides this, he offers a mix of racist and extremist ideas as well. He has long received criticism for moving away from talking about the suffering of Syrians on his famous channel, especially since he was chosen by the producer of PUB-G as its spokesman in the Middle East in 2019.
Since the beginning of June, the Turkish government has been moving Syrian refugee violators residing on its territory to camps in different provinces in the country. This comes in the implementation of an earlier decision issued last February. The number of Syrians residing in Turkey reached 3.6 million between 2013 and 2022, according to a statistic issued by the Turkish Immigration Service.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.