Where is my baby to crawl in prison?

Ayşe teacher, imprisoned for one year and three months for saying, “Let children not die,” will go to prison with her baby. Çelik stresses that her thoughts have not changed.

Yayınlanma: 18.04.2018 - 10:26
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Teacher Ayşe Çelik, whose one year and three month prison sentence for phoning into the Beyaz Show and saying, “Let children not die” has been upheld, will enter Diyarbakır E-Type Closed Prison along with her six-month baby Deran on Friday. Ayşe teacher, speaking of the mixed feelings she is experiencing, said she was worried about her daughter and noted, “Deran is actually allergic to milk and milk products. We have had difficulties for six months. Prison conditions are bad for children. I have no idea how we will stay healthy there.” She stresses that her thoughts as a mother and a teacher have not changed: “Let children not die anywhere and at any time.”

- The day has come for you to go to jail with baby Deran. What are your feelings?

I am experiencing a great mixture of feelings. I am worried for my daughter Deran, not myself. She is still a baby and prison conditions are a known, but, with God’s permission, we’ll get through these arduous days. I don’t know if the law will function or not in Turkey from now on, but I will enter prison along with my daughter trusting in God’s justice.

- You are following a diet because of baby Deran’s food allergy. Will you be able to implement this diet in prison?

We have been through some fairly troublesome days for about six months. We have gone back and forth between home and the hospital. Deran is allergic to milk and milk products, that is, to most foods. She needs to be fed in a hygienic setting and with special medical-purpose diet food. If Deran’s baby foods are not obtained my daughter will go hungry and this should not be possible. I can’t give my daughter my milk anyway. This is a separate agony for me. Can you conceive of a mother being unable to give her milk to her baby and trying to raise her on baby food? How am I to prepare the fruit and purees that my daughter can eat in a prison environment? It cuts me up for my daughter to be in this position. I truly find myself lost for words for the first time.

- What kind of place is prison for children in your view?

Frankly, it is most distressing to be at the receiving end of this question. I have not researched what kind of place prison is for children. I have not felt the need to do so. I know that Deran will neither be the first nor the last child to be “convicted” to prison. Which mother or father wants their child to grow up in prison? I don’t know what we will encounter there. I will go and see and experience it together with my daughter. This should not be the fate of Deran and other babies.

- You are spending your last days with your family. How is your family?

My family has undergone psychological breakdown. They are upset once over for me and then again for my daughter. Especially my mother is distraught. She has high blood pressure and diabetes. This process will take another heavy toll on my mother. There’s a saying: “I grieve for my kid, and my kid grieves for its kid.” My mother will grieve both for me and for her granddaughter. This situation can be explained somehow to an adult, but prison will cause traumas in a baby. Deran will crawl in a few months and may walk. Where will Deran crawl in that environment? And, also, the toys and development cards and so on needed for her development. None of these things will be available but we must be strong.

- Are there things on the outside you say you will miss greatly?

My daughter will be separated from her father in this process. My daughter will pass through her most wonderful periods separated from her father, home and bed. Trust me, even thinking about these things gives me heartache. I will greatly miss the moments I was together with my husband and daughter in the bosom of my home.

- Many people are saddened by you going to prison. What would you like to say to them?

Throughout history, no country and no faith has been able to withstand universal realities. Even if they have initially set out to counter them, they have later been forced to accept them. Universal thinking permeated the things I said and I was a teacher when I made these pronouncements. I now say them as both a mother and a teacher. Let children not die. If they are our future, everyone must think like me. If there are those who do not think this way, let them not speak of the future.

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