Twenty-one youngsters are missing from the Saray Home for Girls, which hosts young women aged 13 to 18, a report by the Turkey Human Rights and Equality Institute (TİHEK) revealed.
According to the BirGün daily, during a site visit TİHEK officials were informed that 21 residents had left the complex. The report said the officials continue to be in touch with the police about the cases.
The deputy director of the Saray Home for Girls said the number of youngsters who are missing changes by the day. “This is not a prison or a place where children are held behind locks,” the deputy director said. “They are able to leave for school or anywhere they want.”
According to the report the complex has a capacity of 160 young women but currently hosts 260. The residents also had difficulties accessing online education during the pandemic, with only 69 tablets available.
According to the deputy director, girls are usually missing for up to six months. No details were provided about what they do during the time they’re gone from the complex.