The study was carried out by Assoc. Prof. Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu (Istanbul Arel University), psychologist Sedat Yağcıoğlu (Masters student at Hacettepe University, social work dept.), Deniz Ufuk Öksüz (Children’s rights activist), Figen Söğüt, Ekin Özaksoy and Gamze Yılmaz (Hacettepe Univ. psychology students).
"What would you like the municipality to do for you?"
The children, aged 6-12, were asked eight questions. The researchers found that there were not enough safe and healthy playing areas for the children, that the children were directly affected by poverty and unemployment, and that they demanded solutions from the local government.
Below, we publish some of the answers, chosen by the researchers, which children gave to the question “What would you like the municipality to do for you?”
"More areas for children"
They should tidy up the environment and plant trees. They should create more areas for children. They should repair the roads and pavements. They should reduce pollution. (11 year-old, Çankaya, Ankara)
They should give work to those who have lost their jobs. (11-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
They could make more efforts for the health of us children (11-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
I would like the municipality to do something for the poor most of all. But I would also like them to create a metrobus route like in Istanbul. I would like them to build a school without charges for children who are not going to school. And I would like them to build the invention that my friends and I made and sell it. And I would like them to build a covered ice rink and a covered swimming pool that don’t cost too much money to g oto. (11-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
Because there is so much snow, I would like the snow to be taken elsewhere. (11-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
"My songs in the streets"
I would like my songs to be played in the streets (11-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
I would like them to build a pedestrian footbridge to allow us to pass the main road when we go to school. (10-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
Natural gas should be a bit cheaper. Can’t you see how many debts people have? They should make things cheaper. (10-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
"All children want to play"
I am a child, and all children want to play. I want play areas. I want the rubbish problem to be sorted and I want more trees to be planted. I want a green area where we can run to our heart’s content and play. I want what all other children want. (11-year-old, Çankaya, A.)
I want them to build a pool in our building, and some places should be made of chocolate. (10-year-old, Mamak, A.)
They should make a pool, buy ice skates, make a sea and beach in Ankara, there should be a servant, they should buy a villa, a car, a bicycle, skis, a motor boat, a dog, a cat, a horse, they should buy a farm. (11-year-old, Mamak, A.)
Several girlfriends, 10-storey villas and workplaces (11-year-old, Mamak, A.)
The sea should come to Ankara, and all children should have toys. (9-year-old, Mamak, A.)
"Employment, honesty, justice"
They should give work to the unemployed, plant trees and distribute waste bins. (10-year-old, Yenimahalle, A.)
I want there to be honesty and justice. (9-year-old, Yenimahalle, A.)
They should immediately make our school earthquake-proof, they should make reductions in natural gas, and they should find work for the unemployed. (11-year-old, Bahçelievler, Istanbul)
They should not allow the production of cigarettes (10-year-old, Bakırköy, I.)
I want them to protect me. (8-year-old, Bağcılar, I.)
"A ball for all children"
They should buy story books for schools, and the municipality shouuld build schools. All children at school should be bought a ball. Poor children should be educated, and also disabled ones. Everyone should be able to sit alone at a desk at school. Poor children should be given school bags. (11-year-old, Baçelievler, I.)
They should offer everyone work. And they should make solid buildings. Children and young people are losing their lives because of the badly-built buildings. They should make parking areas under the newly-built houses, because the cars always park on the pavement, so we have to walk in the street. (12-year-old, Bahçelievler, I.)
Increase my father’s wage, so that we can spend what we want. Don’t build houses everywhere, please. (10-year-old, Bahçelievler, I.)
I want my rights. When we go somewhere, we are not asked. Then I get very angry. (11-year-old, Bahçelievler, I.) (TK/AG)
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