Mother to camp outside European Court of Human Rights over lack of support for children with autism

European_Court_of_Human_RightsIstanbul, Turkey — A woman has vowed to camp outside the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in an effort to draw attention to the difficulties children with autism are facing in Turkey. Sedef Erken has previously revealed plans to file a petition at the office of an ombudsman along with other parents, as previously reported here.

Erken, whose son, Ozan Sanlisoy, has been refused admission to private primary schools in Turkey three years ago, wants something done to help children with learning disabilities in the country.

Her son, now 7, is currently attending public school with about 30 other children in class– a setting not very ideal for children on the autism spectrum.

Erken, who is a lawyer by profession, filed charges against the government of Turkey three years ago, saying that her son’s right to education had been violated in the country.

But Erken’s legal battle and the long windy road to educational reform in Turkey still seems endless, as the coveted reforms do not look like they’re about to become a reality anytime soon. Erken revealed that she was already in talks with senior officials from the Turkish government years ago, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was still the prime minister then.

“But everything was forgotten in Turkey after the elections were held,”

said Erken.

“That’s why I want to go to [the ECHR], to make the voices of children with autism in Turkey heard. It will be a peaceful demonstration, in fact, not even a demonstration.”

Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta