We like children; what a lie!

We like children; what a lie!

Seen from outside, it is great to be a child in Turkey.

But only when seen from outside.

This country likes its children.

Here children are the center of life.

This is the only country where a special holiday has been declared just for children.

It’s a place where advice such as “Have children, have three children, have five children” never ends.

But this country’s people love its children in a superficial, very superficial way.


Our love for children is wrapped in hypocrisy.

I wonder what sort of a love for children this is.

This country is full of children who cannot get up from poverty, pain, sickness and death.

This is a country where children are chased away with curses when they are begging or selling Kleenex in the streets or approaching cars to wipe their windows.

Our love for children is as much as those who say “the municipality should gather them.” 

This is the country where 14,000 children a year face a judge.  

This is a country where children are tried in high criminal courts.

This is a country where 120,000 children get familiar with the justice system.

This is a country where its prisons are full of children.

Children are beaten, raped, locked in solitary confinement or left without food or drink as punishment in the prisons of this country.

One-fifth of the children who leave prison have no place to go. More than half go back to prison. This country does not love its children enough to reintegrate them into society.


In this country, children are separated as Turks and Kurds, gunned down because they are labeled a “terrorist.” They are taken under detention. They are tried for life imprisonment because they participated in a demonstration.

Those who smuggle are awarded while those who steal some sweets, lacking the money to buy bread, are sentenced to years of prison.

In this country, children are exploited under the guise of cheap labor.

They work at home, they cook, they wash, they clean the house and they take care of the sick instead of going out to play. 

In this country, 400,000 children work in the agricultural sector, the worst for child labor.

A piece of bread is their breakfast and they pick hazelnuts for 11 hours under the sun.

Two-thirds lack access to clean water. One-third lives in tents and sleeps on thin carpets laid over the soil.

Let’s try it just one day and see how it feels.

Children in this country are sexually abused and raped. They are forced to marry. Children give birth to children in this country. They commit suicide.

Children are not born as criminals. It is society that pushes them.

On the one hand, we encourage people to have more children, on the other we don’t care about the existing ones.

We beat children who sell Kleenex.

Most of us lack honesty. Alright the state is responsible, it has many sins. But the people in this country are not less innocent.