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ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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A university student has claimed that her house in Tophane was raided by police in relation to the prime minister's recent statements against mixed-sex student accommodation.

A university student has claimed that her house in Tophane was raided by police in relation to the prime minister's recent statements against mixed-sex student accommodation.

Sevim Songün Demirezen Sevim Songün Demirezen sevim.songun@hurriyet.com.tr

A university student staying at a house in Istanbul’s Tophane neighborhood has claimed that her house was entered by police on Nov. 5 and her family relations were questioned by the police, in relation to the recent controversy over mixed-sex student accommodation. She also told the Hürriyet Daily News that a number of similar raids were staged in the neighborhood at the same time.

Özge Altın, a master’s student at Istanbul City University, said she was not at home during the incident and only learned of what happened from her neighbors and the property owner, who was living in the same building. Altın has been living in the same apartment for five years with another female university student.

She said around 30 police officers, plainclothes officers, municipal workers, and treasury officers had told her neighbors that they were looking for an apartment where “two female university students are staying,” on the grounds that it was being used as an unofficial hotel.

Altın was told by the property owner that the police had started to ask private questions about her after the house owner showed their contract and said there was nothing “illegal or disturbing” about the girls.

“They asked questions about where I am from, whether I visit my family, and how long I stay with my family when I visit them,” said Altın.

Despite living in a conservative neighborhood and having conservative house owners who openly say they have voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the past, she said she had never experienced such problems before. She said her neighbors had also voiced their discomfort with the raid and did not allow the police to enter the students’ houses without any search warrants.

Altın said she was not surprised by such a move after the recent remarks of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denouncing co-ed housing. However, she was surprised when she was told by neighbors that the police were knocking on a number of doors in the neighborhood.

“Another student who said his house was raided was told by his neighbors that associations in Tophane had made complaints about student houses to the prime minister’s office. This is more worrying than the raids themselves,” she said.

Altın added that she had been told by a legal adviser that she could not file a complaint because the police did not leave any notification about their visit. However, she said she was now looking for possible paths to file complaints about the incident.

November/08/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

11/12/2013 8:12:41 PM

AMERICAN IDIOT It began some years ago, but as the "trolley" approaches its stop, it has picked up some speed. Now that the "neighbors" in these conservative areas are now given strength by the backward comments of RTE and his cronies, everyone will be called on the carpet about something.

Çılgın Kanarya

11/10/2013 12:08:32 AM

İLKER AVNİ, well if you listen to Muammer Güler, that’s exactly what they were doing in this case!

Misses Ataturk

11/9/2013 11:30:14 PM

Democracy!!!! smh.....

ilker avni

11/9/2013 8:04:23 PM

I would have thought the police would be busy chaseing terroists.

american american

11/9/2013 6:26:28 PM

so sam, why aren't the cops busting all the arab 'hotels'?

Tekion Particle

11/9/2013 5:21:44 PM

Why wait till the elections in 2014? Oust this authoritarian government and arrest its dictator and bring him to justice now. What else has he got to do to you people to convince you that the time has come?

American Idiot

11/9/2013 3:42:06 PM

And so it begins.

Can Lamberoglu

11/9/2013 2:59:34 PM

Dictator RTE opens his mouth to utter yet another undemocratic comment, and the AKPolice reacts. Is there no sane person in the chain of command that could have stopped such nonsense? I am looking forward to the EU reaction to this; having just released the progress report and having opened another chapter gives them the right to comment.

Tayyar Abi

11/9/2013 2:36:52 PM

@Sam AFG; Even if you were right (which of course you are not), why in hell would it take 30 government officials to investigate one little school girl? Complete nonsense.

two sides to every coin

11/9/2013 2:30:52 PM

Erdogan has lost the plot all together, even his own people are concerned. if you think this is bad, if he is reelected don't be surprised if within a year he will want Sharia law brought in. What concerns me at the moment is what is happening in the economy. 2.04 Lira to the Dollar. considering we buy all our gas and fuel from abroad in Dollars, we can look forward to some big increases in our bills.
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