AVRUPA TIMES;/AVRUPA NEWSPAPER-HUNDREDS of people joined a peaceful protest following the death of Bournemouth boy Mehmet Altun.Mehmet, 13, died on Thursday, August 19, after a suspected drug overdose.His family arranged the demonstration in Bournemouth town centre with members of the community to highlight the issue of drugs across the area.A large crowd gathered at Pier Approach on Saturday before the protest proceeded to walk through the Lower Gardens, ending at the Square.Throughout the walk, there was continual chanting about the need to protect children and tackle drug problems across the BCP Council area.
Bournemouth Alevi Cultural Centre and Cemevi and British Alevi Federation: PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, SAVE OUR FUTURE
On 19th August the Altun family, the community of Bournemouth, and the Alevi community of Britain, lost a son. Mehmet Altun, a 13 year old boy, tragically overdosed after consuming illegal substances.
This is not a one off event and we continue to hear how drugs detrimentally effect young people all over the country. What will the authorities do in the long term to ensure this does not happen again?
Mehmet was an innocent child, whose future life was taken from him. Its not just the drug barons that are responsible for his death, all us adults, the police force, schools, the local authorities and the government are all just as responsible.
Today, we aim to raise awareness regarding the dangers of deadly drugs and illegal substances. We are calling on the Dorset Police, local authorities, elected representatives and the community to support us in our fight to tackle the supply of illegal drugs.
This is not a problem faced only by Bournemouth. Across the UK and all around the world, communities have lost young members to drugs. We are working hard to keep gangs and drugs out of our communities. But this is not a fight we can win alone!
We are fully aware that there is financial gain from drugs, for certain groups. However, we are here to say that no amount of money will replace the young people that we have lost to drugs.
Poverty, limited education and social marginalisation remain major factors increasing the risk of drug use disorders. Vulnerable and marginalised groups face barriers to getting treatment due to discrimination and stigma. The UK Government must urgently invest in social services and public services which will raise awareness on this important issue. The youth of the UK must have access to free youth services that will keep them away from drugs and drugs away from them.
Furthermore, the UK Government must urgently invest in policing and enforcement to ensure community safety and security are protected.
The authorities have immediate questions to answer:
How has a 13-year old child come into possession of deadly drugs?
What social circumstances led to the supply of these drugs by a 14-year old child?
Who supplies these children with deadly substances?
We demand immediate answers to these questions!
This danger experienced by Mehmet, at the age of 13, can sadly happen to anyone’s child in the UK. We demand urgent measures to be taken and all authorities to do their duty in protecting young people.
Today it is important to call out to all children and young people,
Stay away from drugs!
Resist those who want to give you drugs!
Immediately inform a responsible adult and the authorities in every suspicious situation.
A child’s death at any age and from any cause is a profound loss. This is made worse when illegal substances and drugs supply are involved.
We must unite against gangs, the distribution of drugs and all related activities!
Our children are not alone!
Our children are our future!
In order to protect our future we must protect our children!
Mehmet, may your cycle of life last forever.
Devrin Daim Olsun,
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