In a rare appearance on a daytime show, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and first lady Emine Erdoğan endorsed a literacy campaign launched by Müge Anlı, host of the popular show "Tatlı Sert" (Sweet and Tough) aired by ATV.
"Tatlı Sert" focuses on family dramas, reunites separated families and helps solve murder mysteries. It was during a story about an illiterate woman looking for her biological parents that Anlı decided to promote the campaign. The guest, Sevim Gürçay, enrolled in literacy classes when Anlı encouraged her. The host then launched an awareness campaign on her show to encourage more people, particularly women, to take literacy classes, directing them to the nearest available courses.
Speaking in a video call-in to the show aired live yesterday, Erdoğan said he had instructed the ministries to aid in the campaign. "We are mobilized and ready to help," he said. The president and the first lady promoted wider access to education, especially for girls, during Erdoğan's tenure as prime minister. In 2003, the couple launched a project to encourage girls forced to drop out of schools by families to continue with their studies.
"Our citizens can apply in local education authorities, local offices in neighborhoods and to village authorities. It will be a rewarding experience if we see a smile in the face of our citizens who attended the courses," the president said, noting that more than 2.5 million people in Turkey are still illiterate. "Literacy classes help about 100,000 people every year. We can increase this number through such campaigns," he said.
Müge Anlı thanked the first couple and said she decided to launch the campaign when she saw how some people who had appeared on the show "fell into despair" because they were illiterate. She said she contacted Education Ministry officials who promised her that they would open classes even if there is only one illiterate person in any given town, village or city.