The Ministry of Family and Social Policies will soon be taking an initiative for Turkish children abroad that are currently under the protection of German Youth Departments.
The program, initiated by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan's directive, will mark the first time Turkey closely tracks the approximately 6,000 children given up for adoption to foreign nationals in a number of countries, namely Germany, Holland, Austria and Belgium.
Children under the protection of the Youth Departments will be provided with Turkish families to be brought up with. Within this framework, Turkish families residing abroad will be trained and promoted to become 'guardian families'. A campaign will also be initiated geared towards raising awareness for Turkish families residing abroad.
The main objective of this program, to be operated by the Ministry of Family Policies in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turks Abroad and the Directorate of Relative Communities, is to prevent the aggrieved situation that befalls Turkish children who are handed over for a variety of reasons to families that are unfamiliar with the child's language and culture. The program and how it will operate will be finalized upon the completion of a report prepared by the Ministry of Family Policies Child Services Department.
As part of the policies to be instated for Turkish families living abroad, embassies in countries which have a significant number of Turkish residents will be setting up a Child Department. This department will deal with any problems experienced by families and children residing abroad and when necessary will provide contact with related Turkish departments.
Participating in a "Youth Departments and Turkish Families Workshop," held by the Abroad and Relative Communities Department, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ emphasized that there are efforts to assimilate Turkish children abroad and stated, "Our children end up turning into an assimilated German, Belgian, Austrian or Dutch. Our silence on this issue means we are openly turning a blind eye to the assimilation of our young children. I am calling out to our citizens residing abroad. Stand up for our children and lets protect their rights."
Family Minister Fatma Şahin states, "We are restructuring the protective services for our nation's children. It is impossible while doing so to think independently of Germany, Belgium and Holland. They are all our children, no matter what their names are and where they live." Şahin went on to emphasize that just like how they have taken on the state protection of 14,000 children in Turkey, they also hold responsibility for those children residing abroad."
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