Tag: Turkiye

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4 June 2024: Remembering innocent children victims of international aggression


War zones expose children to daily dangers, denying them safety, education, food, and basic rights, necessitating urgent global humanitarian action. This year on International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression we remember the children of Gaza, Sudan, Myanmar, Turkiye, Syria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Nigeria.

Children residing in war zones around the world witness unimaginable horrors on a daily basis. It is unsafe for them to play outside, sleep at home, attend school, or go to hospitals for medical attention.

Children around the globe endure unspeakable horrors even adults find unbearable and they are innocently caught in the midst of warring parties. They are being subjected to sexual violence, and abduction and are being forced to join armed groups, all while being deprived of essential humanitarian aid.

UN Reports, in Gaza the number of children killed is higher than from four years of world conflict. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said “This war is a war on children. It is a war on their childhood and their future” [1]. More than 14,000 children have been reportedly killed and thousands have been injured. If not injured or killed children are deprived of essential needs, displaced and don’t have access to water, food and medicine. UNICEF had initially reported that “Rafah is now a city of children, who have nowhere safe to go in Gaza”. On the 26th of May 2024, the tents and shelters in Rafah have now been bombed which leaves no safe place for the children of Gaza. UNICEF reports that even wars have rules and no child should be cut off from essential services in accordance with international humanitarian law [2] reflecting that this is not a war but a genocide[3].

There is a silent war and famine going on in Sudan affecting innocent children. Human Rights Watch reports a gruesome incident where RSF Forces first shot the parents in front of their children and then piled up the children and shot them. They later threw their bodies into the river and their belongings after them[4].

To mark a year of brutality against Sudanese children, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued a media statement highlighting the violations resulting in 24 million children in Sudan being at risk of generational catastrophe. Among these children, 14 million are in dire need of humanitarian support, 19 million are out of school, and 4 million are displaced, according to UNICEF, making Sudan now the largest child displacement crisis in the world[5].

Since the military coup in 2021, the armed conflict, and the suffering and cruelty continue in Myanmar. Innocent children who are too young to comprehend the chaos around them, are caught in the midst of the conflict, malnourished and deprived of essential needs. UNICEF reports that 6,000,000 children are in need of humanitarian assistance [6].

A year after the deadliest earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria, children are still feeling the effects of the tragedy. Almost 7.5 million children in Syria still require humanitarian aid. 3.2 million children in Turkiye still need essential services as families are homeless and without access to essential services, including safe water, education, and medical care [7].

The human rights violations continue in Turkiye not only affecting innocent adults but affecting innocent children. Thousands of children are growing up in prison with their parents who are only detained due to Erdogan’s dictator regime in Turkiye. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms in Turkiye on a scale unprecedented in the 18 years he has been in office, said Human Rights Watch [8]. Recently, several girls under 18 were detained and subjected to psychological torture due to non-implementation of the Constitutional Court and ECHR rulings.

Ethiopia is facing multiple crises due to climate crises (flood and drought), armed conflicts, diseases and economic shocks. Floods have affected the education sector in the Somali region with the disruption of the schooling of over 66,000 children (32.3 percent girls) and damage/destruction to school infrastructure (56 out of 146 flood-affected schools). The scale of damage to the schools and the reported sheltering of IDPs on school grounds will prevent thousands of children from returning to school [9].

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the decades-long armed conflict continued to cause grave violations against civilians and children. The M23 committed more unlawful killings, rapes, other apparent war crimes and crimes against humanity in areas under their control [10]. Save the Children has reported that 78,000 children have been forced to flee their homes due to the escalating violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)[11]. As armed conflict is a daily reality for the children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these children are facing poverty, sexual violence, being abducted, deprived of food and water and even being trained as child soldiers [12]. UNICEF’s Director of Child Protection said “I met children who survived the horrors of recruitment and use by armed groups and the unspeakable trauma of sexual violence – atrocities that no one should experience, let alone children” [13].

On 8 May 2024, Save the Children reported that children in Haiti are being forced into armed gangs due to extreme hunger. According to the UN, between 30% to 50% of armed groups in Haiti currently have children within their ranks. Save the Children’s Food and Livelihood Advisor in Haiti said “The hunger situation is so desperate our staff are hearing stories of children joining deadly gangs just so they can get food to eat” [14].

OCHA reports that in Nigeria children are at risk of forced recruitment into armed groups when unaccompanied and separated from families, especially children of those considered to be formerly associated or affiliated with armed groups. Protection concerns continue more so for women and girls, who run a higher risk of being subject to violence, abduction, rape, gender-based violence, forced and child marriage, and other violations of their rights. Children in Nigeria face malnutrition on an incomprehensible scale, 1.53 million children under five years old are expected to face acute malnutrition and about 511,800 children are expected to face severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition. [15]

On this international day of innocent children victims of aggression we remember all the innocent children who, instead of crying over lost toys, are crying due to fear, destruction, and violence. These children, born into a cruel world, deserve a childhood filled with love and safety, not suffering.




[1] Gaza: Number of children killed higher than from four years of world conflict | UN News


[2] Children in Gaza need life-saving support | UNICEF


[3] Rights expert finds ‘reasonable grounds’ genocide is being committed in Gaza | UN News


[4] Children ‘piled up and shot’: new details emerge of ethnic cleansing in Darfur | Global development | The Guardian


[5] Sudan conflict: 24 million children exposed to a year of brutality and rights violations, UN committee says | OHCHR


[6] Myanmar-Humanitarian-SitRep-April-2024.pdf (unicef.org)


[7] One year after devastating earthquakes hit Türkiye and Syria, consequences continue to reverberate for affected children and families (unicef.org)


[8] Turkey: Erdoğan’s Onslaught on Rights and Democracy | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)


[9] Ethiopia – Situation Report, 10 Jan 2024 | OCHA (unocha.org)


[10] World Report 2024: Democratic Republic of Congo | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)




[12] Children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Humanium


[13] DR Congo: Children killed, injured, abducted, and face sexual violence in conflict at record levels for third consecutive year – UNICEF


[14] Extreme hunger in Haiti forcing children into armed gangs – Save the Children – Haiti | ReliefWeb


[15] “Nigeria Humanitarian Needs Overview 2024 | OCHA (unocha.org)

Executive Committee

Negligence at the mine in Turkiye: 9 killed and incalculable environmental damage


On the afternoon of February 13, 2024, a devastating landslide occurred in the gold mining area of Ilic district, Erzincan.. Turkiye. Approximately 10 million cubic meters of soil, treated with cyanide and sulfuric acid for gold extraction, catastrophically slid towards the Euphrates River [1]. This river is not just a crucial waterway for the Middle East, supporting agriculture, and livestock, and providing drinking water to Syria and Iraq, but also flows into the Persian Gulf [2].

The landslide’s direction toward the Euphrates River raised immediate alarms about environmental and public health impacts. Mehmet Torun, the former president of the Chamber of Mining Engineers, conveyed his concerns to journalists, expressing doubts about the absence of any leakage into the river and hinting at the potential for a “terrible environmental disaster.” Despite these fears, Mehmet Ozhaseki, the Minister of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate, claimed that daily water samples showed no evidence of toxic waste contamination [1].

Cyanide has been used in the mining industry for over a century. Despite, it has been used for a long time cyanide is toxic for not only humans but also many other organisms. Especially, fish and aquatic invertebrates are particularly sensitive to cyanide exposure. A small leakage in the water or the soil can cause catastrophic effects on the ecosystem. The immediate result of a possible leakage in the Euphrates River can be measured by the accident in Romania, in 2000. Unleashed 100,000 cubic meters of toxic waste into rivers, severely impacting Hungary and Serbia. This disaster, caused by extreme weather, led to a widespread loss of drinking water for 2.5 million people and the death of vast numbers of fish.

Long-term consequences for the leakage can only be estimated at this moment. Still, persistent environmental degradation, reduced biodiversity, and compromised water and soil quality, affecting ecosystems and human health for years are some general estimations [3].

Meanwhile, the human toll of the disaster became painfully apparent. Nine mine workers were reported trapped beneath the avalanche of soil and debris. An extensive search and rescue operation involving 800 personnel was quickly launched [4]. However, the threat of further landslides temporarily halted these efforts, with a team of 10 scientists dedicated to stabilizing the land to ensure the safety of the rescue teams [1].

In another interview, Mehmet Torun explained that a gold mine located on an active fault line in Erzincan and 300 meters away from the Euphrates River is very dangerous. He added that two years ago, after it was determined that a pipe carrying cyanide-containing solution burst in the mining complex, causing the solution to spread to the environment, the company was fined 16 million 441 thousand Turkish Lira however, following the penalty, the company immediately increased its capacity twofold [1,6].

The families of the trapped workers, along with the Independent Mineworkers’ Union, demanded justice and accountability. The Union labelled the accidents, including this one, as ‘murders,’ noting that 144 workers lost their lives in similar incidents in February alone [5].

On March 5, a significant development emerged as two engineers from the mining company were arrested, bringing the total to eight individuals detained in connection with the disaster. Yet, there remained no news of the trapped workers [5].

This tragedy highlights the urgent need for stringent safety regulations and environmental protections in mining operations. The potential contamination of the Euphrates River not only poses an immediate threat to public health but also signals broader environmental risks associated with mining. It underscores the importance of sustainable practices and the urgent need for policy reforms to prevent future disasters.

As we reflect on the Erzincan mine disaster, we must consider its implications for mining safety, environmental protection, and the health of river ecosystems upon which millions depend. This catastrophe serves as a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of human activities and the environment, emphasizing the need for collective action and accountability.
In the wake of this disaster, it is critical to advocate for stronger regulations, improved safety standards, and greater environmental stewardship.

This moment calls for all stakeholders, from policymakers to environmental organizations, to unite to prevent such tragedies in the future. We owe it to the victims, their families, and our planet to ensure a safer, more sustainable future for mining and industrial practices worldwide.



[1] https://www.bbc.com/turkce/articles/ckveyyg5l25o

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68292469

[3] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/envi/dv/envi20130925_info-cyanide_/envi20130925_info-cyanide_en.pdf

[4] https://www.euronews.com/video/2024/02/14/nine-workers-at-a-gold-mine-missing-in-turkey-after-a-landslide

[5] https://www.bbc.com/turkce/articles/c2q76y2g55po

[6] https://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler-turkiye-61935902

European ParliamentExecutive CommitteeReports

We proposed some important amendments to the EP’s Turkiye report


We are delightful to share our amendment proposals to European Parliament draft report on the 2022 Commission Report on Turkiye. We would like to share our amendment proposals to your comprehensive and well-designed draft report on the 2022 Commission Report on Turkiye {2022/2205(INI)}. We hope to make contribution to the work of the European Parliament which makes invaluable contributions to the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.