More than half of Turkish parents do not want kids to have Syrian friends
REUTERS photoMore than half of a Turkish parents do not want their offspring to be friends with Syrian children, according to the results of a survey released on Nov. 24, although those in favor of such relationships suggested the interaction would pave the way for “cultural sharing.”
The study carried out by GfK Turkey for the Platform for Protecting Children and Their Rights asked questions to 1,105 respondents aged between 15 and 65 in 26 Turkish provinces regarding the issues faced by Syrian adults and children in Turkey and possible solutions for their problems.
Based on the survey, 57 percent of adults said they did not approve of their children being friends with Syrian children, while the rate for those who said “I approve” or “I certainly approve” stood at 28 percent.
Strikingly, however, the percentage of Turkish parents who said they wanted their children to be in the same class as Syrian kids was higher than that of Turkish children on the question of whether they wished to be in the same class as Syrian peers.
Asked about the best part of being in the same class as a Syrian child, 15 percent of parents listed new friendships, while another 15 percent pointed to the benefits of cultural interaction.
Another 8 percent said their children might be able to learn a new language, while 7 percent said they did not think there would be a positive aspect to their children sharing the same class with Syrian children.
Some 18 percent of students said cultural interaction was the best part of being classmates with a Syrian student. That argument was followed by “chance to form empathy” at 13 percent.
When asked about the negative sides of being in the same class as Syrians, 26 percent of parents said there could be communication problems, although 9 percent argued there would not be any negative aspects.
Some students, meanwhile, said there could be adaptation problems, while 2 percent said there could be cultural differences. Those who said there would not be any problems were 10 percent.
When surveyors asked about the problems of Syrian children in Turkey, most respondents said education was the biggest problem. This was followed by problems of hunger and shelter.