World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD) which is one of the UCLG-MEWA members, launched its project of ‘’Grow Up and Let’s Prevent Our Children From Committing Crime’’ that approaches the problem of fight against drug addiction, which is an issue that is tackled by academicians, clergymen, families and educators in order to create and raise social awareness. The project will be implemented in 39 districts of Istanbul with the partnership of Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Security and with the contribution of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The first session of ‘’Grow Up and Let’s Prevent Our Children From Committing Crime’’ was held at the kind invitation of Esenler Municipality; and the second session of Training for Safety Seminars was held on 31 March 2015, hosted by Sultanbeyli Municipality with the participation of many attendants in Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu Culture Center.

The opening speeches of the conference were made by Zafer Söğütçü, Deputy Mayor of Sultanbeyli Municipality, Mehmet Duman, Chairman of the Executive Board of WALD, and Gülhan Altınok, the wife of Selami Altınok, Privincial Police Chief.

In the opening speech, Mehmet Duman, Chairman of the Executive Board of WALD, said that ‘’the function of these heart-warming seminars which are stick to pedagogical approaches, is much more important than arresting criminals. Because, protective measures is the most important phase in the fight against drug addiction and crimes. First of all, we need to determine and extinguish the reasons that lead the children to use drugs and make addiction. The individuals who have the effect on children are firstly mothers and fathers and then teachers. Therefore, taking these protective measures are also their responsibility. Our reason to gather together here is the same, it is to raise awareness on the protective measures that are preventing children from using drugs and committing crime.’’

After the speeches, Özlem Temür, Chief of Children Branch, made a presentation on general safety rules. Caner Demir, Expert Instructor in Narcotic Branch Office mentioned that one of the most important factors of using drugs is friendships, and that parents should pay attention to the friends of their children, and the ways to understand what are the implications of using drugs. Enes Bülbül, Senior Psychologist in Çamlıca Living Center of Üsküdar Municipality made a presentation at the end of the program.

Subsequent to the end of the program, a delegation led by Mehmet Duman, Chairman of the Executive Board of WALD, together with Zafer Söğütçü, Deputy Mayor of Sultanbeyli and Gülten Teoman, Advisor to the Mayor visited Sultanbeyli Refugees Coordination Center.

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