NICOSIA - Hürriyet
"Shame" read the headline of daily Yenidüzen, while daily Star commented Ertuğrul Hasipoğlu's remarks as "The slip of the century." DHA photo
A Northern Cypriot minister's statement on March 14, where he said that if the government was to close the region’s renowned night clubs, students and soldiers would literally "screw" them, has caused a major uproar in the northern part of the island.
Weighing in on an issue that has became a fiery social debate in Northern Cyprus, especially because clubs can hire hostesses according to the law, Health Minister Ertuğrul Hasipoğlu recounted an argument that he had with one of his predecessors. "There was an opposition member who in each parliamentary session urged us close the 'factories'... Then he became a minister. So I went and asked him 'Have you closed these factories?' He answered, 'What are you going to close? There are 40,000 soldiers and 40,000 students; do you want them screwing me?' So don't disgrace yourself this way," Hasipoğlu said during an event.
Hasipoğlu's words hit the front pages of the five main Northern Cypriot dailies with headlines such as, "The slip of the century," and "shame." Women's associations and 19 non-governmental organizations called on the minister to immediately resign. Students have commented that "the minister who supposed that students were regular clients did not know the cost of the night clubs."
Meanwhile, Hasipoğlu has defended himself, saying that his words were taken out of context.
A total of 39 nightclubs are operating in Northern Cyprus, where 364 hostesses are actively working. Most of the hostesses come from Eastern Europe. The law allows them to work but police seize their passports when they arrive on the islands