by Leia Sozeri
(Spring Hill, FL, USA)
The security staff screening people for the NY, JFK airport flight tried to separate me from my 5 week old son! They kept saying “control” in Turkish. I couldn’t understand why they wanted to take my son!
A passenger explained that they wanted to wave the wand over me. So, I had to place my son in a chair (either the chair or the filthy floor).
I still have a hard time believing it happened; this woman kept holding her arms out to take my child. It was creepy.
We’re flying again soon, and I’ve taken the time to learn how to say “don’t touch” in Turkish.
What a horrible experience! Of course, we all understand that strict airport security is important these days – but it would be nice if Mums could be treated with a little sensitivity. It’s twice as bad when you can’t speak the language! Thanks for letting us know that little bit of Turkish – someone may find that useful!
you tell them. no one wants absolute strangers to touch their babies… and if it’s a culture gap, the sooner they clue in that it’s generally unacceptable to touch yours, the better for everyone who comes behind you. sometimes i think they get away with this stuff b/c of shock and the perception of authority. yuk!
I will be flying with my daughter from Istanbul to London soon, so security will be tight for that flight too. It will be interesting to see what my experience is… Just for the record, though, Turkish people LOVE babies, and it is totally the norm here for babies to be passed around. I understand the reluctance of the mother of a FIVE WEEK OLD in handing over her child though! There’s absolutely no reason they could not have “waved the wand” while the mother was holding her.
Other good words to know:
istemiyorum (I don’t want to) or
yapma (don’t do it!)
I travelled with my 7 month old son from Istanbul to London and the security staff happily took him when I was going through security showed him off to all and sundry and returned him back to us happy and content. No problem at all and they were all delighted to have a cuddle. How refreshing compared to the attitude to babies in the UK where they are seen as merely an inconvenience and the mother’s responsibility!
It is so strange to read comment of mother who was flying to Turkey and thought it was creepy to hand over her 5 weeks old baby to security staff.
I just wanna ask her ‘ do you think if this event took place one of the US or UK airport will you be react same way ?? I don’t think so..
What makes you so special lady ? So many people/mothers out there get worse treatment then you are.. you should be thankful that Turkish people very kind and helpful and trying to assist you by offering holding your baby plus they are doing their job and keeping everyone secure..
Get a life..
XYZ…..are you a parent? My guess is no. If you are, then you must feel differently to every other parent on this planet. No parent would hand over a child to someone they didn’t know without having the reason explained first.
The lady that left the comment on aug 4 2010, you were very harsh did you get out the wrong side of the bed obviously that lady was scared to hand over child to a total stranger especially one Have a little compassion!!. The baby was only 5 weeks old she has every right to over react…
I think XYZ should go to a country where they do not speak the language & hand their child over to someone they don’t know.
It would probably better off.
I think that it sounds a bit like an over-reaction, myself. I have handed my babies over to strangers on several occasions when traveling- there’s just no other way to get through security alone! You just have to have a little more faith! It’s not like you were in Nazi Germany, you were in modern day Turkey, I wish I could go there!
I don’t blame this mother. No way would I hand my baby over to a stranger, especially if I didn’t understand what was happening. A friend of mine almost had her son kidnapped by a “helpful stranger” in a crowded airport, and he was a toddler. This was a FIVE WEEK old. She was right to be freaked out.
i wouldnt hand over my baby to anyone it only takes a minute and then they are gone……….
I think there is a bit of an overreaction there. While you should think of your babies safety, it was a uniformed security staff member. Plus, I’ve traveled to Turkey several times. They give the baby back. They’ll even help you calm the baby down. Relax.
I do not blame this mother one bit! I am a mother of 3, and I would NEVER hand over my baby to anyone I did not know. Especially if I didi dot understand what was being asked, Even if they were airline staff. The airlines should all have strict regulations about never separating a parent and a child. They should be screened together. You can NEVER be too protective of your child. That is our job as parents. to protect them.
Similar thing happened to us at the Istanbul airport as well. We speak Turkish, so we knew what was going on. The staff just didn’t want our 3 week old son to have to go through the metal detector. They were all nice about it though.
Totally understandable if you got upset, since you didn’t speak the language.