Turkey has been seeking membership in the European Union, but a major stumbling block in its efforts is the lack of rights for children in Turkey. At this point in the 21st century, Turkey still lacks creation of a juvenile court system to deal with crime by children, and this results in children being tried in adult courts and treated as though they were not children. A Turkish MP noted; “children are not being treated in juvenile courts and are not being treated as juveniles. They are being treated as terrorists, contrary to the international convention.” He referred to a decision by his nation’s Court of Appeals which ruled that children who took part in demonstrations in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party could be charged with aiding a terrorist group. There are numerous examples of Kurdish children who throw stones at such gatherings are sent to prison charged with aiding the spread of terrorism.
If Turkey does not make changes to protect children from being tried as adults and sent to prison for life, it may well wind up being another United States of America which allows such convictions. Turkey may also join the United States in allowing a high percent of child mortality. On the bright side, Turkish court officials could be sent to places like Texas and have a field day convicting children and sentencing them to life terms for crimes like rape.