Turkish main opposition rebuffs government's intention on student houses
‘In a democracy, the area of personal rights and freedoms is immune; the state cannot intervene in private lives,’ says CHP spokesperson Koç. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s suggestion that new regulations could be drawn up to prevent male and female students from living together has sparked uproar among opposition parties.
“Mr. Prime Minister is now trying to be the morality police. In any democratic country, the state’s intrusion into the area of personal rights and freedoms is unacceptable. In a democracy, the area of personal rights and freedoms is immune; the state cannot intervene in private lives. The state cannot conduct peeping and voyeurism,” the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Haluk Koç told reporters during a press conference Nov.6.
Erdoğan recently sparked a public debate when he voiced his uneasiness over male and female students sharing private accommodation on Nov. 5.
‘None of his business’
“The state cannot intervene in the decisions of individuals aged 18 or older. Mr. Prime Minister says ‘It’s not clear what’s going on in these places.’ It’s none of his business. Of course their families educate their children in the direction of our societal reality. But Mr. Prime Minister cannot intervene in this area,” Koç said.
A group of CHP female lawmakers, speaking at a press conference in Parliament, rebuffed Erdoğan’s remarks, accusing him of attempting to intrude into private lives. “Nobody, including the Prime Minister, has the right to speak about people’s private lives and their relations. Actually, this issue is not among the real problems of our country,” the CHP’s Candan Yüceer said.
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy parliamentary group chair İdris Baluken said they were following Erdoğan’s remarks with great concern, labeling the debate as “another attempt of the AKP to solidify its grassroots ahead of elections.” The prime minister’s statements were totally unacceptable considering the constitutional assurance over private lives, according to Baluken. “I should make it clear that those remarks are totally unacceptable and against personal freedoms and the privacy of individual life,” he said.
According to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Oktay Vural, Erdoğan actually aimed at keeping the country’s agenda busy by delivering such controversial remarks.
Vural took care when wording his criticism, saying the Turkish nation “should be trusted.” “This debate puts families who send their daughters to school into trouble. This nation should be trusted. If there are some isolated things in society, then let’s discuss them. But let’s do this without hurting anybody’s pride.”