In this thor­oug­ly ine­gal­i­tar­i­an Turk­ish soci­ety, chil­dren are affect­ed of course, as they always were. Notwith­stand­ing the nation­al­is­tic and big­ot­ed stance of the AKP’s lead­er­ship, Turkey has now moved on to shame­less and uncon­trolled liberalism.

From top to bot­tom of the social lad­der, inequal­i­ties abound and deep­en, and the social mobil­i­ty of Repub­li­can Kemal­ism no longer oper­ates in an econ­o­my where labor laws oppress the weak instead of pro­tect­ing them, and where the dom­i­nant class accu­mu­lates and financializes.

The street thus becomes the sur­vival econ­o­my where refugees and migrants from with­in or with­out the bor­ders com­pete and share pover­ty. Chil­dren are much in evi­dence there…

As encoun­tered, while browsing…

Freely adapt­ed from a short arti­cle by Fil­iz Zeyrek  pub­lished by JINNEWS.

We invit­ed our­selves out on the streets of Adana after school hours, in order to col­lect the dreams of chil­dren who are there to work. Some want to be doc­tors, oth­ers, teach­ers… The dreams are dif­fer­ent but all are sub­ject­ed to the same inequality.

Some wield brush­es, oth­ers sell lighters or beads… The objects they hold are dif­fer­ent, but their hands are the same.

You must hold the brush before you can put the pen­cil to the copybook. 

These chil­dren try to get through  school by cop­ing with the intri­ca­cies of the coun­try’s  unequal shar­ing of  well-being. Of course, no inequal­i­ty or injus­tice can keep them from dream­ing. While they work, the chil­dren don’t give up on their dreams.

The chil­dren we met invit­ed us into their world and con­fid­ed some of their wishes.

I will cure my father”

This is Ramazan speak­ing. He is 10 years old. He wants to be a doc­tor. Because his father is sick and must get bet­ter… Ramazan says he works most­ly on week-ends “because I must do my home­work on the oth­er days. I buy lighters and beads whole­sale and sell them at the bazar. Ramazan says he does not want to work with his fam­i­ly, “I always try to earn my own mon­ey. I will be a doc­tor and my father will get better.”

When I see uniforms, I make a quick getaway”

Besides the usu­al dan­gers in the street, Ramazan’s great­est fear is the munic­i­pal police: “I’m most afraid of the munic­i­pal police…because when they catch us, they con­fis­cate our goods, they cut us off and impound our goods. But…when I see badges, I run very fast and they nev­er catch me.”

We will have the best”

We meet shoeshine boys like Ömer who not only works week­ends with his two cousins but on week­days too. Ömer talks about the mon­ey he gives his moth­er, “My moth­er uses the mon­ey for my school fees. As I don’t like stay­ing at home, I enjoy work­ing. If we make enough, we’ll buy the coolest jar of paint.” 

Ömer says old­er chil­dren try to make more mon­ey by hus­tling them, “Me and my cousins don’t get pushed around. I have 6 broth­ers and sis­ters. This is why I must help my family.” 

Ömer’s great­est dream is to be a phys ed teacher. That will take 5 to 6 pairs of shoes shined every day…

Français : Tra­vailler pour lire, “l’iné­gal­ité” en Turquie Cliquez pour lire

Trans­la­tion by Renée Lucie Bourges

Traductions & rédaction par Kedistan. Vous pouvez utiliser, partager les articles et les traductions de Kedistan en précisant la source et en ajoutant un lien afin de respecter le travail des auteur(e)s et traductrices/teurs. Merci.
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Daniel Fleury
Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…