Kid-free restaurant in Istanbul causes controversy
The owners of a restaurant in Istanbul have fuelled a discussion on social media as they refused a woman to enter with her child, saying, “We are a kid-free business.”
The woman targeted the restaurant on Twitter, blaming the owners of the business for “discrimination.”
Social media users, business owners and even the psychologists intervening in the discussion were divided into two, some supporting the idea of a kid-free restaurant, some opposing it.
“Children should go to bed by 10 p.m. Of course, you should not go to a restaurant with a kid at that hour. What is a child doing there at that hour?” Yeşim Akıncı, a psycologist, told daily Hürriyet on Aug. 20.
Arif Verimli, a prominent psychologist in the country, directly opposed the idea of a kid-free restaurant. “I find a world without children a little beastly and not chirpy. There may be people choosing a way of life without kids, but such a concept does not fit me,” he said.
Clinical psychologist Emre Konuk is on the side of people finding the discussion “weird.”
“As if there is only one restaurant in Turkey and it does not allow kids to enter,” he noted.
Another psychologist, Ozanser Uğurlu, raised the bar on the discussion, defending that the situation was a “cultural matter.”
“We have a children-based culture. We were nomads first, then with the start of agriculture, we settled. Just at this point, people saw children as an object that widens and keeps the family tight. Motherhood is sacred, so is childhood,” Uğurlu said.
When asked if he supported the owners of the kid-free restaurant, Uğurlu replied, “As parents with children face no problem for dining in any restaurant, some businesses may choose to ban kids.”
Other than children, he also blamed their parents. “A child will show its childhood anywhere. The problem is the parents. Some raise kids without limits and responsibilities.”
Defending the idea of a kid-free restaurant Akıncı said, “At restaurants, people smoke and drink alcohol. Also, there is loud airplay in the place… All these would badly affect kids.”
However, Verimli highlighted another bad effect of being rejected at the door of a restaurant.
“It is quite embarrassing not to be permitted to enter. Both for a mother and a child,” he defended.
Daily Hürriyet’s two columnists, Orkun Ün and Cihan Şensözlü, also participated in the discussion by being on the side of the restaurant.
Another columnist, Fulya Soybaş was on the woman’s side.
“The tranquility of public space can not be solved by disclaiming a child, a woman, or any other from a religion or a race,” she wrote on her column on Aug. 20.
Uğurlu admitted that he found the “discrimination” allegations “a little exaggerated.”
“Calling this event as ‘discrimination’ is overstepping the mark, isn’t it? As a result, a kid is not a race or gender,” he said.