Thousands Of Children Beg In Turkish Cities

The vast migration from rural areas of Turkey as well as a continuing migration from neighboring nations has created an army of children who wander the streets of its cities engaged in begging rather than attending school. At a recent symposium, “An Urban Problem: Begging,” organized by the municipal police, the problem was discussed but few solutions were able to be identified. According to Suvat Parin, from Istanbul University, most of Istanbul’s beggars were related with one another or came from the same town. “We also noticed that they do have specific locations to beg according to where they come from. Streets, mosques, bazaars, and shopping malls are the most common places where beggars go.”

Elif Yilmaz of Mimar Sinan University, said most of the children were forced to work by their parents. “There are not many opportunities for their father and mother, who have just toiled the land before. So they send their kids to the streets to make money for the family.” According to Turkish law it is illegal to beg, but if the individual is selling a product, then it is OK.