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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid