Police have issued an urgent appeal for help in finding them, suggesting they are "extremely vulnerable". The three teenage girls were last seen on Tuesday morning during the school holidays. The girls, aged from 15 to 17 years, told their parents they were going out for the day, but were photographed going through the airport scan. Maybe they were given false promises and didn't realize they would enter a war zone or that they will not be equal to their male counterparts. With winter clogging up the roads, and transport links hindered, they may still be in Turkey.
Young teenagers are so gullible, yet these girls must have enough money to book the ticket and know how to travel to foreign countries unaccompanied.
While I was younger than these girls in the 50s, money was scarce and no child could dream about a trip abroad. I'm going back to my youth again to remember my early teenage years in Australia to see what could have happened to me.
In 1954, at the age of twelve, I left primary school to attend secondary school, which required more of a walk each day. For the first time, I wore a uniform, large starched white collar on a buttoned check dress, white socks under lace-up shoes and gloves worn at all times outside the building.
The news often mentions how predator teachers approach students, and that happened to me. While I happily sang in the choir, the teacher complimented me on my voice. He singled several girls out for special attention. I basked in his praise. At the lunch break, he invited one girl at a time into the tuck shop in the hall to help sell sweets. I went in once, full of excitement. He let me choose a chocolate bar, something special in those days and not an everyday treat, and he leaned close behind me. However, I never got another turn because he was removed from the school under dark murmurings. A lucky escape for me, in hindsight.
Although I took a packed lunch to school, my mother always reserved enough money for me to buy a 'sundae' at the shop over the road from the building. When I look back, I can appreciate how much of a sacrifice that must have been. I really appreciated the luxury, remembering the times before when my sisters and I would beg from the chip shop little serves of leftover fried batter. It would be wrapped in newspaper and we'd eat it straight from the pack as we walked along the street.
In the two years I attended secondary school, I grew very tall, nearly my full height of 5'10”. One kind teacher thought I'd outgrown my strength and used to let me lie in the sick room when I broke down sobbing. I guess these years are difficult for any girl, especially one with a mother working part-time and no father at home to support the family. And so, at the end of 1955, I finished at the secondary school and prepared to go to MacRobertson's Girls High School, close to Melbourne. I'd need to catch the tram to get there from Prahran, and looked forward to reaching 14 years during the summer break.
Hope springs eternal in young hearts. Woe betide anyone who shatters their innocence.
Do you have a story about a lucky escape from danger?