Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Weston’s ‘big racist problem’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:00 02 October 2013

Troys BBQ's owners was one of the businesses which raised concerns

Troys BBQ's owners was one of the businesses which raised concerns

Archant

SMASHED windows, arson attacks and anti-Muslim threats have left town centre businessmen claiming Weston has a ‘very big racist problem’ and that they are being targeted because of their nationality.

Police are investgating a Turkish-run eatery’s claims that someone attempted to blow up its premises after a fire was started near a set of gas canisters, while one convenience store worker was told ‘I hate Muslims’ after putting a Halal poster in a window - which was also smashed.

Police arrested a man on Tuesday after the latest attack on Troys BBQ in Alexandra Parade in the early hours of the morning.

They are also investigating an arson attack on the same takeaway, run by two Turkish brothers, which its owners say could have killed anyone inside had the fire ignited a set of nearby canisters.

But business owners claim these incidents are the tip of the iceberg, and they regularly face racially-motivated threats, intimidation and vandalism.

Ben Altay, owner of Regent Omelette Bar, said: “There is a real racist problem here and you can see and feel it all the time.

“I am from Germany – in Germany there is racism but it is not as extreme as here.”

Ebo Abdullah, who works in the Ezze Shop convenience store in the Alexandra Parade, said: “I don’t feel safe. I always have two friends with me here at night.

“It used to be nice in Weston, with lots of great people. But some people and teenagers are troublemakers.

“It is absolutely a racist problem. A big problem.

“Ten days ago the window was smashed after I put a Halal sign in the window.

“I covered it up and a man came in and said ‘Are you hiding? If you are hiding I’m going to smash another one.’

“He came in a couple of days later and said ‘I hate Muslims, this is nothing, I can do more.’

“I said to him ‘you are just racist’. I tried to keep him here but he ran away.”

Mr Abdullah added that he also received pro-Christianity leaflets through the shop’s letterbox.

The owner of Alexandra Parade convenience store Booze 4 U says his shop window has been smashed repeatedly.

Vedat Adil, of Booze 4 U, said: “The window has been broken 10 times, easily.”

He said that the attacks came when a sign was put in the window highlighting Polish deals.

He added: “Within a couple of days there were cracks in the window. That’s racist abuse.”

And Omer Duran, Troys BBQ co-owner, said: “We are open until 3am and there are drunk people.

“We do 99 per cent ignore these people but sometimes we are only human, tempers do rise and we can be a little reactive.

“We are not radical religious people. We just work here.”

His brother Hasan Duran said: “There are racists everywhere, all over the world.

“We have to do something. There’s a very big racist problem in this town.”

He said he considers himself English and that he wants to respect people in the UK and Weston.

He added: “Most English people are very nice. I’m very lucky I am living in this country.

“These things don’t suit the English people.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

15:01

Several miles of stationary traffic have built up on the M5 this afternoon (Friday).

Read more
14:04

North Somerset Council is heading to court next week in a bid to evict travellers from Weston’s Ashcombe Park.

Read more

John Penrose reclaimed his seat as Weston-super-Mare’s MP a month ago. Since then, Weston General Hospital’s A&E has been temporarily closed overnight. Reporter Sarah Robinson sat down with him to talk about what it will take to regain a 24-hour service.

Read more

The ambulance service has been accused of ‘playing with people’s lives’ by its own workers, who say as few as two ambulances are covering Weston and its surrounding villages at night.

Read more
12:30

A former Weston-super-Mare man who is accused of killing one man and injuring several others in an alleged terror attack in London last month will go on trial in the new year.

Read more
15:00

An open gardens event raised almost £1,000 for a community church.

Read more
09:50

The new chairman of Avon Fire Authority says he was ‘surprised’ to hear council leaders publicly call for the organisation to be headed by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Read more
11:00

A Lympsham pupil’s winning poster design will hopefully encourage people to pick up after their dog.

Read more
06:06

Two North Somerset men, including one from Yatton, will stand trial later this year after being charged in relation to an alleged homophobic crime in Bristol city centre.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A 10-year-old girl from Worle spent a year growing her hair only to have it chopped off for charity, and she raised more than £450 in the process.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder