Today is April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day. Followers of Justice for Children (ÇİAT) organized an event entitled "Life was never a Feast", including a painting exhibition and a forum that was handled at Ankara Su'dem Restaurant on 21st of April referring to April 23rd.
The exhibition called "My Room in My Dreams" was composed of children's paintings that were painted during the researches of ÇİAT activist Hülya Tarman in 2006-2007. Tarman who handled a painting workshop with 158 children says, "We can see how we steal the dreams of those children on these paintings.
There are flowers, table and lamp in all drawings. In fact, these are all reflecting the pure worlds of them." While we are visiting the exhibition, Tarman shows a painting to me. It's the painting of an 11-years-old girl. It's composed of his mother, father, brother, sister and a grandmother.
The father and brother are looking back; we cannot see their faces. "In fact that girl is expressing that she was exposed to violence" says Hülya Tarman. "There are many drawings like this. The children drew many things that happen or do not happen in their room. In fact these drawings show us the clues about their childhood."
"We do not want to be put in prison"
The forum begins. A child victim of Anti-Terrorism Law who doesn't prefer to tell his name speaks: "We didn't kill anybody, we didn't damage to property of anyone. Why are we kept in prison while people selling drugs are walking outside? Nothing happens to the drug-dealers. However, we are put in prison. We are beaten. We do not want to be put in prison any more."
We asked him why he didn't prefer to tell his name and he reminded us the child who was subjected to 40 years of penalty as he talked to press after he was released from Pozantı Prison.
"The problems of Kurdish children continue"
We are talking to Sedat Yağcıoğlu from ÇİAT. He says they had '23 April is not a feast for each child' idea and they decided to organize such an event. ÇİAT had many serious campaigns in 2010 to let off the penalties of children victims of Anti-Terrorism Law. I ask to Yağcıoğlu why they needed to act again and Yağcıoğlu says, "The problems of Kurdish children continue. The children known as "Anti-Terror Law Victims" were released by the la amendment. However, they are put into jail again when they were 18 years of age. That's why we decided to act again as ÇİAT."
He believes that "children" and "guilt" concepts should not come together and the freedom of the children should not be taken away with any kind of reason and he adds: "We'll be the followers of justice until the children in the prisons are released" (SK/HK)