Over 14,000 Turkish children missing in last five years

Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Servet Yoruk, speaking at a workshop about missing children on Monday, has said a total of 14,412 children have gone missing in Turkey in the last five years.

The workshop, held under the title “Let’s not lose them,” featured Yoruk and Interior Minister Efkan Ala in Ankara on Monday. Yoruk stated that the workshop had been organized to draw public attention to the issue of missing children, which is among the most serious problems of Turkey, explaining: “Every year thousands of children are kidnapped out of various motives, such as organ transplants, child labor and armed incidents or terrorism across Turkey and around the world. Every year for the last five years, an average of seven children have gone missing in each region under the jurisdiction of the Gendarmerie General Command.”

Yoruk stated that, according to official data, a total of 14,412 children went missing across the country, and 834 of those kidnapped or missing children have still not been found by gendarmerie forces.

Also speaking at the workshop, Minister Ala stated that 97 percent of the missing children have been found. Pointing to the importance of a family’s love and affection for their children, Ala said all statistics lose their importance when faced with the case of an individual child, adding that the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Family and Social Policy should cooperate with security forces on the issue of missing children.