A.A. has been living in a container with her 6 children in the Izmir province of Turkey. She is a member of the Roma community in Turkey, one of the larger of minority groups without the status of an officially recognized minority.
Just as many other Roma people, she has been facing problems of income and housing. She has been experiencing discrimination and oppression “wherever she goes”, she told Jin News.
Her children are not allowed to go to places where other children play like in the yard of the Accommodation Centre, reported by Jin News
After her husband was arrested and put behind bars, she was left alone with her children. “We have relatives but all of them are living under the same difficult conditions like us, so even they wanted to, they can not help us, I have to take care of my children on my own,” she said, summerising her situation.
She used to stay in a small house with her children but since she could not pay her rent anymore, A.A. and her children found themselves homeless as the landlord emptied her home, put the contents of her household in the rubbish and changed the keys of the house.
“Everything we had was soaked in the rain. I filed a complaint in the police office, but nobody even asked my landlord about it,” she said.
She makes her living by collecting from the rubbish in the Bayraklı district of Izmir. The Roma family has lived in a “tent” in a park since they had no way to pay any rent, but the police also then asked her to leave the park. “I was also afraid that they will take my children away from me and keep them in Social Services,” she said.
Although she never wants to be seperated from her children, the government took her children from her, twice, in the past.
A.A said: “I was working hard and collecting money, then I rented a house and proved to the government that I can take care of my children. But then I lost everything again. They might take them again and I do not want that, their psychology is already bad, their father is behind bars for 3 years and if they will be taken away from me, it will make them worse.”
Because of that fear A.A. accepted to stay in the Temporary Accommodation Centre which was actually built for the victims of the earthquake that happened in the Bayrakliı in 2020.
“On the night of the 24th of April it rained a lot. We were in a tent with my children in the park and it was then I thought that I have to go to that Centre,” she said.
At the Temporary Accommodation Centre they have been provided with a “container” with only 4 beds, 1 stove, 2 pots, some spoons and forks and that’s it – they do not have any cleaning supplies. No carpet, no TV, and not even any food supplies for her children.
The discrimination she has been suffering has been hurting her even in the Temporary Accommodation Centr where she now lives with her children.
“I know that they will not let us stay here for long since they keep our container away from the other containers and my children are not allowed to get even close to that area. I don’t know what we will do later,” she said