Istanbul’s first ‘children’s street’ opens

Istanbul’s first ‘children’s street’ opens

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Istanbul’s first ‘children’s street’ opens

Family and Social Policy Minister Ayşenur İslam plays with the children at the road she likened to Sesame Street. AA Photo

Istanbul has opened its first child-friendly street playground, where parents can watch their children play via a closed-circuit television (CCTV) link.

Safe play areas are at a premium for Istanbul’s children, with the city’s spiraling population and traffic problems putting pressure on all available space. However, in Menderes, a neighborhood in the Esenler district on the European side of the city, a local referendum has seen one street closed to traffic in order to provide a safe playground for children.

The neighborhood, located in Istanbul’s most densely populated district, plans to turn all its streets into colorfully painted, child-friendly spaces by the end of next month, Esenler Mayor Tevfik Göksu said at the opening ceremony of the new play area on Sept. 11.     

Family and Social Policy Minister Ayşenur İslam likened the road to Sesame Street, the U.S. children’s TV series famous for its educational content.     

“This is a great opportunity for our mothers as it enables them to enjoy their leisure time and take care of themselves and their personal affairs,” she said.

İslam also visited the Asmaa al-Beltagy training center for mothers, where she handed out diplomas to around 200 newly graduated mothers. The center is named after the daughter of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy, killed during a crackdown by Egyptian security forces last year.

The center provides eight-week courses on parental skills, childcare and parent-child relations.