The New Anatolian / Ankara
31 October 2006
The police in a northwestern city have saved 90 children from streets over the last seven months.
Kocaeli’s Gebze district police has rehabilitated some 90 street children so far with a project aiming to adapt them to society through sports.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency yesterday, Gebze Police Force Sports Club Association Press Secretary Vahap Turfanda said that the project, which was launched for the rehabilitation of street children, has been going on for seven months.
Turfanda, underlining that the association was established with the idea that the best way to steer street children away from bad habits is sports, said that the administrators of the civil group led by Gebze Police Chief Ali Sahinli are mainly businessmen and bureaucrats.
He also said that Gebze attracts many people and receives much migration due to its industrial zone.
He added they try to rescue children from the streets and bad habits such as substance abuse and smoking through instilling a love of sports in light of the principles of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who stressed sports to raise healthy generations.
Turfanda also said that they saw significant changes in children who took part in the project, since their self-confidence improved.
Apart from giving them an opportunity to take part in sports activities, the association also provides financial support by buying them shoes, T-shirts and sports equipment and giving their families YTL 200 monthly.
He also called on the Gebze townspeople, public institutions and non-governmental organizations to contribute to their efforts to adapt street children to the society.