Turkey sends educational toy boxes to Palestinian children

Turkey will continue to stand by the Palestinian people, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a message he sent to Palestinian children with toy boxes specially prepared by the Turkish Education Ministry.

Turkey sent toy boxes to Palestinian children as part of the efforts to enhance their access to preschool education.

The boxes contain 31 materials and 52 different supplies specially created for preschool activities at home, as well as Erdoğan’s message. Books, coloring books, magnifying glasses, chess games, brick games, geometry blocks and elastics, building blocks, stationery supplies, play dough, toys, play mats and matching cards are among the supplies in the boxes to support children’s cognitive development.

The parcels were dispatched from the capital Ankara in a ceremony attended by Education Minister Ziya Selçuk and will be delivered to 1,000 Palestinian families.

An instructions pamphlet and an informative guide on child development will help families to make the best use of the boxes, according to a statement by the ministry.

“As the Turkish nation, we are not too far away, we’re right beside you. Please do not give up playing games, dreaming, or pursuing your dreams!” Erdoğan said in his message, adding that Palestinian children will surely enjoy brighter days in the future.

“You are on our mind, in our hearts and in our prayers,” Erdoğan said.

Meanwhile, Selçuk noted that Turkey is sending the boxes in spite of the sound of bombs and weapons in Palestine.

Noting that children are the most affected by wars and conflict, Selçuk said Turkey wanted to do something to contribute to the education of Palestinian children to some extent and aims to do more in the future.

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also said Turkey will continue to stand by the people of Palestinians.

Since the beginning of the violence last month, Turkish officials intensified diplomatic efforts to put an end to Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

The 11-day conflict was the fourth fought between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007. It featured the same waves of predawn Israeli airstrikes, the same continuous rocket fire out of the impoverished territory and the same lopsided casualty toll, with Palestinians making up the vast majority of the more than 250 killed.

And like the others, it took a heavy toll on children. At least 69 Palestinian children were killed, as well as two on the Israeli side. Countless more were awakened in the night by explosions.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.