Award-winning Turkish teacher vows to protect children

An award-winning former primary school Turkish teacher known for her work to protect children from abuse has vowed to carry on her struggle to defend youngsters across the country.

Turkey on Friday celebrated the national Teachers' Day, which marks the day Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's founder, was given the title Head Teacher in 1928. It has been celebrated in the country every Nov. 24 since 1981.

Saadet Ozkan received the 2017 International Women's Award from Melania Trump after she uncovered cases of children affected by sexual abuse. Ozkan now runs a nongovernmental organization that strives to protect children.

Speaking with Anadolu Agency over the phone on Teachers' Day, Ozkan said every teacher must love children in order to be good in their profession.

Sharing her passion for becoming a teacher, she recalled how she used to voluntarily work in a village school.

I felt the need to be with children to provide them with a life I have been providing for my son, she said.

She emphasized that the principal condition to be a good teacher is love. Academic success comes together with this love.

We need teachers who try to make children more humane while teaching mathematics and Turkish.

About her International Women of Courage Award recognizing her effort to protect children from abuse, Ozkan said she would continue to defend the rights of children at all platforms without caring for any political differences.

She also underlined the importance of healthy communication between a teacher and students.

Ties without emotional attachment do not lead to strong chains.

She also urged that teachers must set aside their differences and keep their worldviews outside the classroom, and give the children the means to express themselves.

Ozkan said the failures of students must be seen as trials.

It is the teacher's responsibility to turn around these failures by giving the students the support they need.

Source: Anadolu Agency