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Over half of Turks support forbidding co-ed student housing, poll shows

Some 55 percent of poll participants said they were in favor of forbidding such living arrangements

Source : Hürriyet Daily News / 2 Dec 2013

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent criticisms of mixed-sex student housing is widely supported by public opinion, according to a recent poll.

Some 55 percent of poll participants said they were in favor of forbidding such living arrangements while 38 objected to the idea, the MetroPoll research center’s recent study has revealed.

The poll was conducted in 31 provinces across the country between Nov. 23 and 25, with a total of 1263 people having been interviewed.

When asked if they agreed with the Prime Minister’s objection to co-ed student housing, 80 percent of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) supporters answered ‘yes’ to the question.

Only 15 percent of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) supporters approved the idea while 33 percent of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters and 46 percent of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were in agreement with Erdoğan.

Erdoğan on Nov. 3 condemned female and male students’ living under the one roof, vowing to take measures against such a living arrangement.

“This is against our conservative, democratic character,” Erdoğan said during closed-door party meeting with AKP deputies in Ankara’s Kızılcahamam district.

“We witnessed this in the province of Denizli. The insufficiency of dormitories causes problems. Male and female university students are living in the same dormitory. This is not being checked,” he said.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler raised the bar and brought another dimension to the debate on mixed-student housing on Nov. 6, arguing that many of these apartments harbored terror and other illegal activities, such as prostitution.

“We are considering the issue from the viewpoint of a fight against terrorism,” Güler said during a press conference on Nov. 6 in Ankara.

Since then the issue has caused fierce debate in the country.

On the other hand, some 6 percent agree that students in Turkey have housing-related issues.

Some 37 percent of society and 54 percent of AKP supporters said police should track the activities of students who are not living in dormitories but living in rental houses.

Some 42 percent said people should report mixed-sex student accommodation, with the percentage rising to 58 when taking into account ruling party supporters.

Raiding mixed student houses by police was backed up by about 34 percent of responders to the poll, but the percentage of AKP supporters who approved police to raid these houses was 54 percent.


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