Children and Women Advocates in Canada, Toronto

Children and Women Advocates in Canada, Toronto

Volunteers including mothers and children gathered in front of City Hall, Toronto on the 4th of November, Saturday afternoon to call attention and raise awareness on the 17,000 women and 668 babies, who have been arbitrarily jailed in Turkey following the failed coup attempt of July 2016.

As people walked nearby and asked questions about the event, volunteers set up a self-standing jail cell with different sizes of dolls in the position of crawling or holding bars in it. There was also a speaker system playing out the sound of a baby cry that captured the people’s attention more.

Volunteers were handing out fact sheets about “#SetThemFree”, in the reference to the “#668Babies” (under the age of 6) and “#17000Women” detained and jailed across Turkey as a result of being victims of “witch hunt” of the current rule of AKP government which violates human rights. The universal principle of presumption of innocence is being disregarded when alleged members of the Hizmet Movement, mothers, children and babies suffer in prisons for no legitimate reasons. Parents are being detained arbitrarily for months/years without accusation or indictment.

Another fact sheet was also given to the people was about the conditions of the prisons which even are not adequate, healthy and human for adults as child victims are forced to stay in. Such an unhealthy environment causes long-term personality disorders in children such as Anthropophobia and effective disharmony, among other cognitive developmental issues. Having no personal space while growing up can lead to problems in developing self-confidence as well as interrupting personal development.

The event continued in the late afternoon by handing black balloons along with the brochures and releasing some of the balloons in the air as demanding freedom for the 668 children and 17000 women in Turkey.

Set Them Free Advocates in North America

Set Them Free Advocates in North America

Last weekend on Nov 4th, hundreds of activists in North America flocked to the streets to bring awareness to the dire situation of innocently jailed women and children in Turkey. There are currently about 18,000 women and 668 children jailed without trial in Turkey. In Northern California, the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, and  San Jose had volunteers handing out black balloons with the hashtag “#668children” and “#SetThemFree” to bring social media awareness to the general public.

Amongst the activists some wore prison jumpsuits, while others walked around with a pacifier attached to a police cuff to indicate child imprisonment. Today, there is no official response yet from the Turkish government, but thousands are still hopeful that the world will evolve into a better place for those innocent lives in Turkish prisons.

Freedom Call in Chicago


Black balloons ascended for 668 child prisoners who yearn for the sky. Following the demonstrations in Europe that took place on October 28th, black balloon demonstrations were held in 15 different places around the United States and Canada on November 4th for children who were held in prison with their mothers in Turkey.

Following the coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, 17,000 women were taken into custody for association with the Gulen Movement, with no evidence of crime. Currently, 668 children are being held in prison with those women. The black balloon demonstrations were held to ensure that the jailed children and women’s voices could be heard all over the world.

Chicago was one of the cities that held the demonstration. Turkish American supporters of the cause gathered at the Millenium Park for children who yearn for the sky and walked all the way down to the Chicago Tribune, as they gave out black balloons to Chicagoans. The message was received with concern from Chicagoans who showed tremendous interest in the cause and joined the march down the Michigan Avenue. Once the marchers finally arrived at the Chicago Tribune, a Press Release was read to demand the freedom of innocent people in jail. Finally, the local and federal government was called to action to raise awareness and stop the plight of thousands innocent children subject to discrimination on several grounds prohibited by the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Following the press release, the marchers released their balloons and watched them as they rose to the sky in front of the Chicago Tribune.

The # 668Children hashtag received support messages from around the world on Twitter and Facebook.

668 Babies in Prison Campaign in Atlanta


The “668 Babies in Prison – Speak Up” campaign demonstrated across the globe continues to raise awareness in the media.

One of these protests took place in Atlanta’s historic Piedmont Park under the coordination and volunteerism of the Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) organization. Black balloons with the phrase “freedom for 668babies” were handed out to those enjoying the park to increase awareness of the dire situation currently taking place in Turkey. Atlantans were informed of the despair in Turkey via pamphlets embellished with the slogan “speak up;” urging them to help the 668 babies and 17 thousand innocent women currently imprisoned in Turkey’s prisons.

The protest organized by the AST aims to ensure the swift release of children and women wrongfully and unjustly  imprisoned. The AST members who described the number of women and children in prison emphasized that such incarceration is currently in clear defiance of international human rights laws. The volunteers who stressed that the place of children is in their homes, not in prison indicated that they would not cease their protests until global awareness is increased and these women and children are liberated.