Police warn parents as child deaths scare

Published 05.07.2018 00:00

Police in Turkey has warned parents to be careful after the news of two missing children and the discovery of their bodies instilled fear in the public.

The Turkish National Police's social media accounts listed a series of simple steps for parents to better monitor their children and warned against contacts with strangers. The warning comes two days after the body of four-year-old Leyla Aydemir, who went missing last month, was found in the eastern city of Ağrı and a week after the body of eight-year-old Eylül Yağlıkara was found with marks of torture in the capital Ankara. The manhunt to find four other missing children in four cities is still underway.

Police have instructed parents to not allow children to "have physical contact with people they do not know and keep a distance." They also urged parents to teach their children how to react when a complete stranger touches them.

Internet use also poses a danger for children as it exposes minors to a wider world of strangers. Police said parents should reconsider using their children's names on online posts and minimize sharing their photos online. Parents were also urged to make children memorize emergency numbers, like 155 and 156 for police and gendarme and 112 for medical emergency services. "Teach your child to stay away from strangers' cars and run the opposite direction against any possible danger. Teach him or her that they need to seek help from security forces if they get lost," the warning read. Children should also be taught code words against strangers. "Devise a family code word that the child can ask a stranger or teach them that they should ask a stranger approaching them if that person knows the names of his/her mother and father," police said.

Children should shout, "I don't know him/her" if the child feels in danger while approached by a stranger. They should also not take elevators with complete strangers. Parents were encouraged to use mobile tracking apps developed for child safety and use GPS services to locate them.

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