Since 2003, unending chains of political turmoil have been gaining on speed and intensity in Turkey, my country of birth. The voters and non-voters alike have been rather accepting of the gradually growing brutal violations of their basic human rights. When the head aggressor banned the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day this year, however, reactions from countless people throughout the country rose as a united voice of determined resistance.
Children’s Day is an official holiday that was celebrated yesterday, just like it has been every year since April 23, 1920, “the first gathering of the Grand National Assembly [‘]the Turkish Parliament[‘] (timeanddate.com).” The latest attempt by Turkey’s merciless dictator to erase from history Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK, a world leader and the founder of the Turkish Republic – alongside the fruition of his reforms, was met with complete disregard of any authority with which the modern-day iron fist had been privileging himself. Celebrations of and by children yesterday have apparently taken on a life of their own, resembling the innocence of Turkey’s much happier past as numerous newspapers and social media reports document amid news on the most recent Erdoğan Corruption: Government-linked Foundation Caught Up in Turkish Child Sex Scandal. In starkest contrast, ATATÜRK has always been claimed to have prioritized the well-being of children in Turkey to whom he reportedly dedicated the Turkish Republic.
Escapism is what I seek today, a day after the bombardment of overwhelming occurrences having been made public yet once again but with their most severe impact at this time. I knew I had to avoid thinking about the utterly disturbing crime of organized pedophilia; to concentrate instead on the hope-raising sights of happy and carefree children – everywhere in the world, left in peace by adults to embrace their yesterday, their today and their tomorrow. A piece of paper I had torn long time ago from a desk calendar then came to my immediate rescue – a quote from Rachel Carson:
A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.
To the permanence of “that clear-eyed vision” in the hearts of children throughout the world and to the loyalty of their life-long companion: “a sense of wonder”!