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Kids' Zone Jasmine Dispatch

But Officer! We Didn't Do Anything! Jasmine and Monica: Suspected!
March 15, 2000

Whew! That was close! Monica and I are in Turkey, and we just got stopped by the police!

What were we doing? Did we steal something? Get into a fight? Go someplace we weren't allowed?

Nope. All we did was cross the street. One minute we were trying to figure out what to have for lunch, and the next minute a car with three strange men screeched to a halt beside us!

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The theme of human rights spans borders and races. The Odyssey has linked with HADEP to further that cause through education.
The men got out, flashed us their badges and made us show them where we lived! We were so scared-we didn't do anything wrong! Except walk out of the wrong door...

A few minutes before, Monica and I left the People's Democratic Party office. That's a group of people who think everyone living in Turkey should be treated the same, even if they're not Turkish.

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The HADEP offices are under around the clock surveillance. The police saw us enter the building and tried to intimidate us so as to prevent HADEP from securing international support of any kind.
One group of people, the Kurds, has gotten really bad treatment in Turkey. The People's Democratic Party, also called HADEP, tries to get the government to change and include Kurds in Turkish life, but it isn't easy. The police watch their every move, and have even attacked a lot of HADEP members. Kurdish people are still mostly on the sidelines.

But HADEP still does its work, and Turkey is getting a chance to change. Countries around the world know there's a problem there, and they're trying to get Turkey to change for the better.

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Despite the potential danger faced with affiliation to the Party, HADEP leaders and volunteers stand strong, willing to "struggle for peace," at all costs.
So cross your fingers for the Kurds and all other people in Turkey who aren't treated well. And while you wait to see what happens over there, remember to be kind and fair to everyone you meet here, no matter how different they seem. Just because somebody looks or acts different from you doesn't mean they're bad. They may be different from you, but you're different from them, too, and you're pretty terrific, right?

So be nice to everybody. They just may be as great as you!


p.s. - Please e-mail me at

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