Turkish couple injured in attack in Germany

A Turkish family living in Germany's Heiligenhaus town near the city of Düsseldorf has been attacked by a gunman from their neighbors.

Mehmet Aktaş, 30, was injured in the kidney and his wife Aleyna Aktaş, 25, in the foot when the 33-year-old perpetrator, who was later arrested by the North Rhine-Westphalia police, opened fire with a shotgun. The couple was taken to the hospital for surgery.

The incident stems from an argument that broke out months ago between the Trabzon-based Turkish family and their drug-addicted neighbors, local media said.

There have been many arguments due to the bad smell coming from the neighbor's house, a relative of Mehmet Aktaş said.

"The neighbor opened fire with a shotgun when Aleyna left the house at 6 a.m. on Jan. 27 to go to work. She went back to the house in fear. The attacker then opened fire on my nephew, who came out immediately," he said. "My nephew and her wife escaped to the balcony with their 7-month-old baby when the neighbor also broke the door with an ax and set the house on fire."

The firefighters quickly responded to the blaze, which left the house in smoke, he said, adding that they took the family from the balcony with the rescue ladder, while the house and its surrounding area were cordoned off by the police.

After the attack, Türkiye's ambassador to Berlin, Ahmet Başar Şen, visited the injured couple in the hospital and residents in the neighborhood.

During the visit, also attended by the Düsseldorf and Essen consulates, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke on the phone with Mustafa Aktaş, the father of Mehmet Aktaş, and conveyed his best wishes.

Şen noted that it is being investigated whether Islamophobia or xenophobia played a role in the attack,...

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