There is a multiethnic city near the Turkish-Syrian border, Şanlıurfa, where it is not unusual to meet school-aged children working on the streets and in local restaurants, cafés and services. Even in the middle of the day, when they should be in school.
According to the Turkish Ministry of National Education there are more than 1.000.000 Syrian child immigrants in the country who are under the compulsory school-leaving age, however only 655.000 of them are registered in the schools. Until now they had their ‘own schools’, where it was mandatory to learn Turkish, but from this year they can attend state-funded schools with Turkish kids. The main purpose of this measure has been to help the young Syrian immigrants’ integration.
After all, there are still many children in the country who must take different jobs to earn money for their families. There are young boys selling different products on the streets, such as tissues, pretzels, cold water and many other things, but you shouldn’t be surprised, if you are served by them in a small restaurant as well. The luckier ones can afford to work only after the classes, however the vast majority of them have to do a job instead of the school. Unfortunately, it does not mean that they do not have financial problems. As the report states they often not earn more money than 20 Turkish lira (approx. 1000 Hungarian forint) a day.