News / Europe

Co-ed Housing Becomes Turkish PM's Latest Bugbear

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at news conference after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Istanbul, Oct. 29, 2013.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at news conference after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Istanbul, Oct. 29, 2013.
Reuters
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan suggested on Tuesday new regulations could be drawn up to stop male and female students living together, triggering accusations of religiously inspired interference in private life.
 
Erdogan said the government had already shut down mixed accommodation in 75 percent of state-run student dormitories and would continue to do so, adding he could also authorize local governors to intervene if there were complaints about male and female students sharing private accommodation.
 
“How come a girl and a boy can stay together in a private property? Can you tolerate such a thing for your daughter or your son,” Erdogan asked at a news conference, before leaving on an official visit to Finland.
 
“As a conservative democratic government ... if a legal regulation is needed, we will make the relevant regulations.”
 
Critics of Erdogan, whose roots are in Islamist politics, have frequently accused him of puritanical intrusiveness into private life, from his advice to women on the number of children they should have to his views on abortion.
 
In power for more than a decade, his AK Party has increased its share of the vote in each of the past three elections, ushered in unprecedented political stability and overseen some of the fastest economic growth in Europe.
 
But it was shaken by the fiercest anti-government protests in decades over the summer, in which demonstrators took to the streets night after night in a show of defiance at what they see as his creeping authoritarianism.
 
Erdogan's views on mixed student accommodation started appearing in Turkish newspapers after leaking out of a closed-door meeting of the AK Party over the weekend. His aides had sought to play down the issue, saying he was referring only to student dormitories that were not properly registered.
 
The head of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) — the party of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the modern secular republic on the ruins of an Ottoman theocracy in 1923 — accused Erdogan of pursuing an Islamist agenda.
 
“They have a plan in the back of their minds ... they want to turn Turkey into a Middle Eastern country,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu told a CHP parliamentary meeting in Ankara.
 
“All our citizens, especially our women, should be aware.”

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ferdi from: Turkey
November 06, 2013 3:26 AM
Erdoğan's government is becoming authoritarian everyday. They do not respect to life style of others who are not religious like them. Erdoğan not only points out dormitories that under government control but also private properties. In his mindset man and woman must not share anything common! He tries to teach us how we should raise our children, when they should get married and how many children they should have in the future! Does that sound democratic or modern to you? He is always talking about democracy but in real, he and his government does not care what other people think. He himself said that "democracy is a train and we will leave that train when the right time has come for us".

by: Anonymous
November 05, 2013 9:49 PM
I understand Turky is rarely one of the countries of separation of government and religion in the Islamic world. It has been made efforts to westernize the country taking secularism since its revolution in 1923. Erdogan also handles politics in the same way as to be able to join EU and co-ed is familiar in Turky. But 99 percent of the national is Islamist prefering single-ed. So is the decision of this time to shut down mixed accommodation a kind of government's compromose to popular pubric will? Does the title of this story, bugbear, reflect on this compromise?
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 06, 2013 7:41 PM
Ferdi, thank you for your comment. So, you mean major part of Turkish people are Muslimst and secularist prefering no regulation of individual life style? Edrogan and his government are Puritan and they want to make people follow some chiristianity faiths against the principle of separation of government and religion?

It is still ambiguous for me which is secularist, Islamists or puritans in Turky, because usually Islamists are believed to be conservative and strict to follow Islamic teachings and rituals, I think. Can Muslims drink alcohol in Turky?
In Response

by: Ferdi from: Turkey
November 06, 2013 3:48 AM
Do you really think that Erdoğan handles politics in the same way Atatürk did years ago? My friend the truth is that Erdoğan and his whole government hates Atatürk so much. Because Atatürk built modern country. Months ago Erdoğan called Atatürk as drunkard to insult him in public. Please first study your lesson before writing something like this.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More