Impacts of poverty hit children in Diyarbakır
Emine Kart DİYARBAKIR – Hürriyet Daily News
Peace and Democracy Party’s co-mayoral candidate for Diyarbakır, Kışanak (C), holds an event on children.In a city like Diyarbakır, which has turned into such a political symbol, it is no surprise to see highly politicized children raising their voices for their needs and demands. Still, such awareness doesn’t necessarily immunize them to impact of the environment where they live.
Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı are the two co-mayoral candidates for the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in the upcoming March 30 local elections in the mostly Kurdish-populated southeastern Anatolian city. Apart from routine election gatherings, Kışanak and Anlı have so far arranged three meetings with key themes: Green Amed (the Kurdish name of the city), Woman Amed, and Child Amed.
Kışanak said she was expecting to meet around 200 children at her March 15 Child Amed meeting, but almost 600 children ended up coming to the meeting. “Children reflect how Diyarbakır people are not coming to our meetings solely to voice their demands, but also come with a participatory understanding,” Kışanak told the Hürriyet Daily News after the meeting.
“Actually, this participatory behavior is something that lightens our burden,” she added.
However, there is a very bitter fact about Diyarbakır’s children and youngsters: Drug addiction. Kışanak believes this relatively new problem is mainly a result of poverty.
“In every district that we visit, people ask for a solution to drug addiction and pledge to assist us in dealing with it. We have to eliminate it before it grows further. We have already assigned a team who will run an ‘Action Plan Against Drug Addiction’ after the elections,” she said.
Kışanak also thinks insufficient attention paid to the issue by the local police is also a fundamental reason preventing the problem’s resolution.
“People explain to us how they call the police when they witness the sale and delivery of drugs, and how the police don’t respond to their calls. The problem is paving the way for gang style gatherings on streets. I don’t want to blame the entire security forces, but it’s obvious that the required precautions aren’t being taken,” she said.