Skip to content or view screen version

Turkey: Child Victims of Prevention of Terrorism Act (by Latuff)

Latuff | 13.08.2009 13:35 | Repression | Social Struggles | Terror War | World

High resolution version for printing purposes here:

Child Victims of TMK
Child Victims of TMK

Thousands of children are now interrogated, judged, sentenced and imprisoned in Turkey as if they are adults under the TMK (Terörle Mücadele Kanunu / Prevention of Terrorism Act) adopted in 1991.

These children whom we call the Child Victims of TMK have no access to pedagogic support, and are unable to continue their education.

Some of them stay in the same prison wards with adults and visits from family members are prevented. Their once-in-a-fortnight permissions for sports/games given are often rescinded.

Turkey signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 19 years ago, which is completely ignored under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Like in all other countries of the world, the Child Protection Act in Turkey accepts the tenet that “there are no guilty children, but children who are pushed to crime” and considers that “punishment” is the last resort to be applied to a child. But this principle is also disregarded in the new TMK, which treats and prosecutes children of 12-18 as if they were not children. The situation for children of 15-18 is particularly serious.

Since few police officers, soldiers, district attorneys, wardens and other civil servants are trained in according to the Child Protection Act, the Child Victims of TMK are subjected to material and moral maltreatment and torture, or are even sometimes killed during arrest, interrogation and imprisonment.

Images of a 15-year-old whose arm was broken in 2008 in the city Hakkari by a policeman -- who then arrested him for “resisting a civil servant” -- are horrifying.

Turkey is the only country in the world that celebrates a Children’s Day as an official national holiday on the 23rd of April, but the horrifying images of the 14-year-old S.T. whose head was bashed with the butt of a gun by a special team member during the Children’s Day in 2009 has turned it into a most disgraceful black-comedy.

The 14-year-old Abdülsamet Erip fell in the river while running away from the police and died during the same 23rd of April operation. We don’t mind disclosing his name because “dead children” live by their names and no any extra harm can be caused.

The next day, 7-year-old Maziye Aslan was crushed to death under a police panzer in the city of Van. On April 27th, this time in the Cizre town of Şırnak province, the 10-year-old Ş.B. was critically wounded by a gas bomb hitting him on the head.

The number of children who have lost their lives through police and military violence in Turkey since 1991 is 328. Among them were babies who had not even been given a name.

New children are added every day to the Child Victims of TMK in Turkey.

Whatever the race, religion, nation, class or ideology of their parents, whatever their own gender, children are only CHILDREN.

Every child in the world should have the right to live like children and to be treated like children. This is their inalienable right.

We are appealing for your attention and help.

Support the Child Victims of TMK in Turkey.

Call on the state of Turkey to free these children at once, to offer them rehabilitation after they are set free and to pass the necessary legislation immediately so that other children shall not suffer from similar violations of children’s rights from now on.

There is something that each and every one can do for children.

Mehmet Atak
for the Callers for Justice for Children

+90 212 225 54 41

Poyracik Sok No 40/1 Nisantasi – Istanbul / TURKEY

- e-mail:
- Homepage:


Display the following comment

  1. Another cartoon — Latuff