Main opposition leader accuses government of failing to prevent child abuse

Main opposition leader accuses government of failing to prevent child abuse

Main opposition leader accuses government of failing to prevent child abuse

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Thousands of illegal dormitories have been built across Turkey, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has claimed, while commenting on recent sexual abuse cases in private educational institutes and blaming the government for enabling crimes to be committed.

“Those who are responsible are not only these foundations and associations, but also the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government,” he said at the opening of “Nazım Hikmet Culture and Art Center” in İstanbul’s Şişli district on April 2.

Parliament decided on March 24 to establish an inquiry commission to conduct an in-depth probe into the alleged sexual abuse of children, after news reports that eight male students had been raped by their teacher at a private foundation in Karaman. Several media reports have since said the abuses at the Ensar Foundation house were even wider. A public prosecutor demanded 600 years in prison for the suspected teacher. Several other child abuse stories emerged last week, including another one in a high school in Karaman. 

“No one can throw this dirt on a pervert and stop. The ones who gave this pervert this opportunity are responsible. The ones who opened dormitories via illegal means are responsible,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

“The minister of education who doesn’t fulfill his duties and enables the perpetrator, whom he favors via by making inspections, is responsible. The prime minister who stays silent despite knowing all of this is responsible,” he said. 

The opening of dormitories for elementary and secondary school students is among the duties of the education minister, the main opposition leader said. 

“Private institutions cannot open dormitories at these levels. The AKP created a gap in this area intentionally and for ideological reasons,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the government took education out of state supervision and handed it over to associations and foundations, “in order to raise militants with similar ideologies.”

Kılıçdaroğlu said the children of the poverty-stricken families were obliged receive education in the centers of cities or districts away from their hometowns.

 “The children who wanted to continue their educations were directed to certain foundations and associations. These foundations and associations were allowed to operate illegally. No inspections were made and the children were left at the mercy of the institutions,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.

Kılıçdaroğlu said children left in these dormitories were put in the care of unqualified people, and “personnel, teachers and principals became unable to criticize these institutions because of the government’s pressure.” 
“The inspection mechanisms were deactivated. The people in charge became unable to move. An atmosphere in which every crime can be committed is established.”

Kılıçdaroğlu blamed this atmosphere as the cause of the current case epidemic.