This study aims to investigate attitudes towards Syrian immigrants on Twitter. One of the tragic consequences of wars and conflicts is immigration. In many regions of the world, increasing immigrant population leads to an increase in anti-immigrant attitudes. Social media is one of the effective means for expressing anti-immigrant attitudes. The Integrated threat theory asserted that threat perceptions underlie anti-immigrant attitudes. Also, social media is one of the important means for expressing the anti-immigrant attitudes. During the 2019 New Year celebrations, Syrian immigrants who had fun at Taksim square have sparked debate on the Syrian immigrants. Tweets containing the word Suriyeli (Syrian) and tweeted during the week that followed New Year s Eve in Twitter were analysed from viewpoint of integrated threat theory. The total 131 tweets which express an attitude towards Syrian immigrants were analysed. The tweet accounts were described in terms of items they contain, the number of followers and profession. The tweets also were categorised in context of contents and the direction of attitude towards Syrians. The results show that realistic threat perceptions were one step ahead. Besides, symbolic threat perceptions and stereotypes were frequent in tweets which express negative attitudes. In positive tweets, theme of empathy was noteworthy. There is no significant difference between accounts which contain positive and negative attitude in terms of anonymity. The findings were discussed in context of literatures of anti-immigrant attitudes, integrated threat theory and empathy-altruism.
Keywords: Anti-immigrant attitudes, integrated threat theory, twitter, Syrian immigrant, empathy