Thursday, 6 November 2008

Turkey-UK scandal: uncovered evidence of orphanage children abuses in Istanbul

BBC reports: The Duchess of York has been accused by a Turkish minister of smearing Turkey's image during a television documentary about orphanages.

Nimet Cubukcu, minister for women and family, claimed the programme's "smudge campaign" was timed to coincide with a report on Turkey's bid to join the EU. [...]

ITV spokeswoman Julia Fields said the documentary was justified.
"This is a valid area of public interest at a time when the UK government is endorsing the accession of Turkey into the EU, a process which is conditional in part on Turkey improving its human rights record with children."

Pictures from the ITV1 programme Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, which were released earlier this week, showed Princess Eugenie crying after seeing the plight of abandoned youngsters at a centre in Istanbul.

Afterwards the princess said the experience had made her "so angry", and her "eyes had been opened".

She wore a disguise of a black wig and headscarf to visit a second home, the Saray institution near the Turkish capital, Ankara, where more than 700 disabled children are housed.

Inside, she and the reporting team found children tied to their beds or left in cots all day.

One child, who was not allowed outside, was discovered crawling along the corridor to feel the sun on his face.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK is aware of the human rights situation in Turkey and works bilaterally and together with EU partners to encourage key reforms in this area."

Also - here and here here

*In photo (via BBC) - The duchess disguised in a wig and headscarf

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