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Deepening poverty fuels mass school dropout in Turkey

Children are dropping out of school at unprecedented rates in Turkey, activists warn, as the social toll of the country’s economic turmoil deepens.
Seyit, an 8-year-old Kurdish garbage collector, carries flattened cardboard boxes in Istanbul on Sept. 12, 2022.

ADANA, Turkey — From his impoverished neighborhood in Adana in southern Turkey, 16-year-old Baran travels mostly seven days a week to work on the posh side of the city. He had to drop out of ninth grade to support his struggling parents and help his two younger siblings stay in school, he tells Al-Monitor.

Since May, the teenager has worked at a restaurant specializing in broth and tripe. “My favorite class was math,” he says shyly. “But I have to work to live.”

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