What is Unaccompanied Children Concept in Turkey? How are They Protected?
According to the law, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child in Turkey, regardless of their gender, language, race or creed. From this point of view, we can say that everyone under the age of 18 can benefit from the rights and freedoms granted to persons defined as children in Turkey. Children who come to Turkey without a parent (mother or father) or an adult relative who takes care of them, or who are separated from them after coming to Turkey, are called “unaccompanied children”. Children defined as unaccompanied children, regardless of their nationality, language, religion, gender or any other characteristic, are considered children in Turkey and can equally benefit from all the rights given to children. The official institution responsible for the protection and upbringing of these children is the Ministry of Family and Social Services. They stay with the unaccompanied children in appropriate institutions and organizations under the Ministry of Family and Social Services.
In order for a child to have the status of an unaccompanied children and to be taken under protection, the official authorities must first determine their age and unaccompanied status. ID, passport, birth certificate etc. It is ensured that foreigners who have unaccompanied minor status with legal documents such as, receive protection and shelter services in the appropriate institutions and organizations of the ministry, taking into account the age and gender of the child. If there is no official document regarding the age group of the child and there are serious doubts, an age determination can be requested here. Age determination applications are provided completely free of charge by experts at the state hospital. All children who gain unaccompanied children status can meet their basic needs under state protection until the age of 18.
If you have questions about the concept of unaccompanied children in Turkey, you can send them to us in the comments section.