Young Syrian Refugee Flutist In Turkey Has His Instrument Confiscated By Police As Begging Is Illegal

Life for Syrian refugees fleeing their home country is brutally hard. For quite a few months now, such displaced citizens, mostly young children and women, have been trying to survive on the streets of neighboring country Turkey, but survival is hard and often wrought with brushes with the law. A video captured by CNN reporter Joe Duran shows a young flutist having his instrument confiscated as begging is illegal in Turkey.

Sitting on the sidewalk in busy streets where pedestrians scurry about, the young flutist plays on. While shoppers and workers rush by, the homeless refugee from Syria, his head barely visible behind a cheap plastic flute, continues to play on for hours. Though most of the passers-by are too self-engrossed to notice, a few drop pennies, and the young flutist thanks each “donation,” which will go straight towards procurement of sustenance for him and his family.

The flute may be cheap and he may play falteringly, but the money is quite critical for the daily struggle with survival. The young flutist makes just about $10 per day, with which he buys food and groceries that will feed his mother and four siblings.

Acutely aware of the horrors of the rising ISIS, the little guy informs the reporter about his father’s death in Aleppo, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting in Syria. Being a rebel stronghold that President Bashar al-Assad’s army has attacked, Aleppo is a major war zone for the all the agencies who are trying to establish their dominance.

War is bad, says the young flutist, who just turned 6 and routinely talks how his head hurts badly due to the incessant gunfire back home. He has been in Istanbul for about a year, and though survival is very hard, he says he won’t go back as there is nothing left back home to go back to.

As its illegal to beg in Turkey, life is significantly tougher for such young beggars who “work” the streets with musical instruments. These little guys scamper when they see a patrol car or a policeman walking the streets. However, many they aren’t lucky and get caught. Since they do not have anything to pay as a fine, neither can they be arrested; the police merely confiscate the instrument and let the little guys go.

If his means of earning sustenance is seized, the young flutist has to shell out half his daily profit to procure a new one from a dingy toy store. Life may be tough on the streets, but the key to survival is not giving up, he says.

[Image Credit | Screen Grab CNN Video]