Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday stood behind remarks reported on Monday in which he spoke highly critically of male and female students cohabiting, a day after a government spokesman firmly denied the comments.
The Turkish media reported on Monday that during a closed meeting with his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies over the weekend, Erdogan complained about lack of dormitories for university students, which he said causes many problems. “We recently witnessed this in Denizli province. Insufficient dormitories bring many problems. Female and male university students are staying in the same residence. This is not being inspected. This is against our conservative and democrat line. We gave orders to the governor on this issue. This will in some way be inspected,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying.
“I never deny anything I speak as I am a characteristically different politician,” Erdogan said addressing his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies on Tuesday.
Stating that he is against the idea of both sexes staying in the same dormitory on the grounds that it falls contradictory to his “democratic and conservative” line, Erdogan said: “We never permitted female and male students to stay in the same dormitory and never will. The inefficiency of such system in which both sexes share same dormitory is also accepted by global education psychology. The works to separate the dormitories of both sexes is ongoing now, 70 percent of which has been completed. In some regions students stay at houses, where there is a lack of room in dormitories. We receive intelligence on what goes on in these houses. The governor's offices are intervening in this. Why are you feeling uneasy about this?” he asked, referring to criticisms in the media over his statements.
“Such intelligence is evaluated by both the governors and the police departments, who then try to solve the problem,” he added.
Noting that “complaints come from the neighbors” residing in the same apartment with male and female students living together,” Erdoğan continued: “No offense, but as the conservative ruling party we have to intervene in such issues. No one should take it as meddling in private affairs,” he said.
Erdogan's remarks come one day after Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc denied any plan to inspect houses in which male and female students live together and said Erdoğan gave no such order.
Speaking at a news conference after the Cabinet meeting in Ankara, Arınç lamented the lack of dormitories for university students and said the prime minister had ordered the relevant authorities to increase the number of dormitories to address the needs of universities.
Noting that there are more than 3 million university students in Turkey, Arınc said many students opt to live in private residences due to the lack of sufficient space in dormitories. He said the government would not inspect places at which students reside.
CihanLast Mod: 05 Kasım 2013, 15:03