Ruling AKP deputy insists on single-sex education as option

Ruling AKP deputy insists on single-sex education as option

Ruling AKP deputy insists on single-sex education as option

“Education in Turkey should be provided separately. This is my personal view,” İdris Yakut said Nov 21, a day after delivering his controversial remarks on coeducation. AA photo

A senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Sadık Yakut, who has been vocal in his objection to mixed-sex education, insisted that what he said was solely meant to offer an alternative in the educational system, not to eliminate mixed-sex education.

Still, neither his remarks nor the AKP’s statement that those expressions were the reflection of a personal view have been satisfactory for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) executives.

As a matter of fact, parents in Turkey already have the opportunity to send their children to boys or girls schools if they do not prefer coed schools.

“I stand behind my remarks. Education in Turkey should be provided separately. This is my personal view,” Yakut, also a deputy parliamentary speaker, told the Anadolu Agency on Nov. 21 a day after delivering his controversial remarks.

“But when I said this, I didn’t say something like ‘Let coeducation in Turkey be eliminated completely.’ Let coeducation be possible but let single-sex education be possible too. It is about offering an alternative, a choice for the parent, or the student. Let him attend whichever school he wants,” Yakut said, urging scientific discussion on his view.

Yakut’s controversial remarks came during a continuing storm over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s public objection to mixed-sex accommodation for university students.

Yakut delivered the remarks at a gathering held in Parliament on the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day where boys and girls from the 81 provinces of Turkey, who form the Children’s Rights Committee, were also present. A few hours later, during a live interview on the evening of Nov. 20, Erdoğan was asked about his “personal view” on the issue.

“My opinions on this issue are obvious. Our practices are evident,” Erdoğan only said, adding that Yakut had already made clear that it was his personal view.

Nonetheless, CHP Deputy Chair Bülent Tezcan still maintained that Yakut’s remarks reflected the AKP’s intentions and they were aimed at rallying public support for this.

“Floating a guide debate, testing waters among the people within the framework of that discussion and then taking a stance accordingly before launching an implementation is one of the best known methods of the AKP,” Tezcan said in a written statement released Nov. 21.

Another deputy chair of the CHP, Umut Oran, also released a written statement in which he underlined that developed countries generally preferred the mixed-sex education model.

“The countries where this model has been banned are all ruled by totalitarian regimes. They are outdated and dark systems of oppression. They are fascist countries. Because a fascist and oppressive mind cannot accept women and men living together,” Oran said.