In Istanbul it is the children’s turn to speak

More than 6,000 children living in the megacity have expressed their ideas and demands about the city through the ‘Istanbul Ask Children’ project. The children want the green space to be preserved and the blue sky to be gray.


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The streets of Istanbul, whose greens are destroyed day by day and buried in concrete, fall without children. Roads that were once filled with children’s noises are now dominated by construction and the sound of horns. Children of parents who say they spent their childhood wandering the streets and playing with their peers have become addicted to the screen today. But it is not the children’s fault that makes them soar from their fields.

About 4 million children and young people under the age of 18 live in Istanbul. They are also real experts on their own problems, concerns and what they want. However, they cannot vote, participate in the decision-making process and do not get a chance to hear their voices.

Working on a child-based basis with the Istanbul City Council and the city and the climate crisis, Informel Eğitim-cocukistanbul has launched the ‘Istanbul Ask Children’ project to make the voices of children under the age of 18 heard. The project that emerged to create a fair and equal city for every child has created a road map of the city with children. Stakeholders of workshops, public space meetings and projects carried out online include the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), district municipalities, city councils and mass organizations. More than 6,000 children aged 6-14 across the city play the role of Istanbul’s ‘Master of Care’, discussing problems and presenting their own solutions.

They want green protected

A place for children to talk about the problems of the city is the ‘Maintenance Kit’ game. In this game, children are asked to describe in one word what Istanbul means to them, the smell and color of the city. They were also asked to give a medal in Istanbul. In this way, they reward the beauty of the city.
Sibel Chattinghos, co-ordinator of Informal Education-Children’s Bull Education, says that the main problem for children in the ‘Care Kit’ game is the destruction of green space. Çetingöz expressed his observations as follows: “One of the places where the children were awarded medals was the green of Istanbul. In fact, with the medal, the children give the message ‘Protect them’. We are moving towards the metaphor of care. We heal everything with ‘care’, ‘care’. Children want to hear their voices. They are fascinated when asked for their views on the city. Even the thought of hearing their voices excites them. “

Violence is on the agenda of children

Revealing that violence is on the children’s agenda in the study, Keitings said, “Even when we tried to point out something else, they pointed it out to us. We found that they always reflected violence in their drawings” and added: “The project is included. Importantly, we have reached out to refugee children as well as children from all socio-economic backgrounds. Within the scope of the project, we have created stickers in Kurdish and Arabic as well as Turkish. Another agenda for children is discrimination and racism. In the subject class.

Stressing that they had not received any support from the Ministry of National Education, Istanbul City Council President Tulin Hadi said, “It is very important to reach out to more than 6,000 children with a little help.” Hadi explained the importance of children’s speech in the management of Istanbul with these words:

“Children do not have the right to vote. So they can’t take part in city management. But huge population. We wanted to give them a voice in the city administration. In doing so, our goal was to increase the inclusion of children’s councils and expand its sphere of influence. This project has ensured the participation of children. It is important for them to be aware of what a municipality is and what their responsibilities are, participation and similar sub-titles. ”
On the other hand, all data obtained from the study will be collected and shared with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in the form of a report. In the next phase of the project, participation and monitoring arrangements will be made with the children to realize the results.


Get well like us ….

Students and teachers participating in the project say that …

• Since there are many roads in Istanbul, we have very few roads to walk. Walking can make up half of the road made for cars. (3rd year student)

করুন Heal Istanbul like us. Because Istanbul is not as good as you think. (2nd year student)

কাজের Through this work, a field has been created where children can speak as a person. Thus, they felt that their own thoughts and ideas were also valuable. (Guide Teacher)

I want to increase the social area where children can develop and socialize themselves.
(8th class student)

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