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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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 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.

VOA Blogs

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