Turkish education official riles public with comment on ‘co-ed stairs’ in dorms
Tamer Kırbaç said he was worried because female and male students were using the same sets of stairs on the way to their rooms in dorms. DHA photoThe provincial education director in Trabzon has caused outrage after lamenting that female and male students were using the same sets of stairs on the way to their rooms in the latest instance of a seeming push for gender segregation at the nation’s schools.
“Female and male students live in dorms above another. They use the same stairs to go to rest. They use the same stairs to go to sleep, and believe me; this has been keeping me very worried for the past two years,” Tamer Kırbaç said Aug. 1, according to daily Cumhuriyet.
The statement drew an immediate public reaction, causing a strong backlash against Kırbaç, as well as prompting parents of the students to stage a protest in front of the school building.
The parents also released a press statement, claiming the students already had separate stairs to withdraw to their rooms but that Kırbaç was “clueless” with regards to what he was talking about.
“We leave the people of Trabzon to decide the meaning behind putting such blame on the staff and students of such a trustworthy school,” the parents said in their statement.
No common grounds
Meanwhile, a state dormitory in the northwestern province of Kırklareli has implemented a new set of arrangements in an effort to keep boys and girls away from each other in cafeterias and social facilities.
The blocks of dorms where boys and girls stay were completely separated in accordance with new arrangements, meaning members of both sexes no longer even interact in common areas like social facilities and cafeterias.
The girls were also sent to older buildings while a new set of dorms that were built three years ago were given to male students.
The Higher Education Dormitories Institution (YURTKUR) said the arrangements were not decreed by the state and that the institution was unaware of the ongoing situation.