Turkey becomes child labour heavenStaff Writer | April 25, 2018
"As the ruling AKP party's education system breaks children off education, the number of apprentices deemed as a cheap labour force in Turkey has increased from 330,000 to 1,1 million," Taner Akpinar, an academic at Turkey’s Akdeniz University, stated at a panel.
Turkey Changes in education system
Speaking about the findings of his research called "The Other Side of the Medallion," Akpinar also noted that the weekly wages paid for the children vary between 130-150 TL ($31,8-$36,7).
Underlining that the apprenticeship process is not associated with education, and employers also use these children in order to compete with large enterprises, Akpinar shared information about the number of apprentices in Turkey.
Akpinar’s information indicates that there were 300,000 apprentices in Turkey, according to the 2015 data. Yet, the number of apprentices has swiftly increased by 2016 when the first results of the ruling AKP party's "4+4+4" education policy began to be negatively received.
In 2012, the Turkish government had introduced "4+4+4 education system", which is a contentious 12-year compulsory education system with four-year phases of primary, middle and high school, paving the way for religious middle schools.
According to Akpinar, this system has caused children to be forced to work in many different branches of activity particularly in industrial estates. Thus, the number of apprentices in Turkey has reached to 1 million 170 thousand children at the present time.
Conducting field research regarding the Syrian child labours in Turkey’s Istanbul, southeastern provinces of Mardin and Sanliurfa, Lordoglu stated that 700,000-800,000 of a total 1,6 million Syrian refugee children under 18 years old living in Turkey are in child labour.
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