Family lock disabled son in cage in Turkey’s southeast
ŞANLIURFAA family has locked its disabled son in an iron cage for short periods of time over the past four years in the Eyyübiye district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, claiming they could not free him out of fear that he would harm himself and others.
“When I’m doing housework, I put him in the cage. When my work is over, I let him out. I don’t keep him in the cage all the time,” said Zeliha Güneş, the mother of 11-year-old disabled boy İbrahim Güneş.
“My husband and three of our children are disabled. Our financial situation is not good. My son is hearing impaired and has mental disabilities. He plays with electricity. We’re afraid that he would have an electric shock. I put him in the cage when I’m cooking,” Güneş added.
The boy’s father, is hearing impaired and unemployed, while two other children in the seven-member family cannot go to school due to financial difficulties, Doğan News Agency reported.
Saying he is struggling to provide for his family with limited state disability support, Haşim Güneş said the whole family has to sleep in the same bed and they lock up their son in the cage while they are sleeping.
“When I don’t put him inside the cage he takes out his clothes and he messes up the house. He doesn’t behave himself. I’m forced to lock him up while I’m looking after my other children,” the boy’s mother said, adding that it’s “painful” for her to put him inside the cage, which was built with the help of neighbors.
The family’s situation made the news after the wife of the local mayor, Ayşe Ekinci, and Eyyübiye deputy mayor Ayten Uysal visited the neighborhood where the family lives.
“We launched efforts to provide for the needs of the family. We enrolled İbrahim and his brothers at school. We are here to give all kinds of support to them,” stated Ekinci, saying she could not sleep for two days after seeing the situation the family was living in.
“İbrahim’s mother is trying to protect her child this way because she is desperate. We have launched a treatment process for İbrahim,” Ekinci said, adding that they wanted to get rid of the cage.