A rehabilitation center in the northern city of Samsun treats children with Down's syndrome through an instrument, the "ney" or Turkish reed flute, that helps them to stay calm.
Housing 120 children with Down's syndrome, the rehabilitation center gives music therapy in groups or individually. Osman Topçu, one of the instructors at the rehabilitation center, said music therapy has not yet gained popularity in Turkey, however "our music therapy sessions show that the practice is quite influential on children with special needs."
Topçu said that he uses music as a catalyst for therapy. "We have breathing, speech and physical exercise. Music makes them relaxed, then it becomes much easier to talk and develop their social skills," he said. Claiming that music therapy has a long history in Turkey, Topçu said reed flute therapy is also beneficial for children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Nuray Yıldız takes her daughter with Down's syndrome to the rehabilitation center. "My daughter now behaves much better and continues to listen to the reed flute at home," she said, recommending the therapy for children with special needs.