A DAD-OF-TWO has been left blind in one eye after being bashed outside a chippy for making a joke about a man's mask.
Tarkan Mustafa, 33, had his eyeball ruptured in a brutal assault after making a light-hearted comment in north London on Wednesday June 2.
The builder supports his children aged seven and 11 through his trade and has been left desperately worried about how he'll make ends meet as he recovers from his injuries.
The terrifying incident began when Tarkan and his friend were waiting for food outside a chippy and crossed paths with two men, one of whom was wearing a mask.
The dad-of-two teasingly told the masked man "they're not going to let you in with that mate" – but he didn't find it funny.
He turned on Tarkan and intensely told him to "look into my eyes and apologise," according to the victim.
MyLondon reports Tarkan said he was "just joking around – nothing serious, no insults or anything like that.
"One of the other guys was sort of laughing – it was just nothing, do you know what I mean?" he added.
Without apologising, Tarkan began walking away to diffuse the situation as he could see the masked man was "getting riled up."
"I'm not a troublemaker, I'm a bubbly person," he said, describing how he walked away to avoid any trouble.
But the two men followed Tarkan and his friend without their knowledge – then attacked him in the street.
Tarkan recalled his terror as the men "just came out of nowhere from the back of me."
He said: "They hit me in the eye with something.
"One of the witnesses said 'he's got steel in his hands', so I don't know what she implied.
"It could've been a knuckle duster, a pole, or a knife or whatever, but they hit me in the eye, and ruptured my eyeball and fractured the floor of my eye socket.
"It wasn't done with a fist, it was done with a tool.
"Now I'm blind in my right eye," said Tarkan, who described the pain as like "someone sticking a hot knife into the back of my eyeball."
Police and paramedics both rushed to the scene after witnesses called 999 – but no arrests have been made more than a month later, despite photos of the attackers "being shared on social media".
Tarkan has been told by doctors he could have stitches in his eye for 'up to a year', after which he will receive a prosthetic eye.
He cried when doctors told him he would never be able to see out of his right eye again and that his left eye "is your last lifeline."
"I don't know whether I'm going to be able to go back into the same job or not," said the builder.
"I don't know what I'm going to do, what's ahead of me."
A GoFundMe has been set up by Tarkan's family to help support him and his children and has raised close to £6,000 as of July 7.
Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call the Metropolitan Police on 101 or contact via Twitter @MetCC quoting CAD 7077/02JUN.
To give information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.
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