Turkish sports minister cannot ‘ensure safety’ at coed camps
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News with wires
The Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç. AA PhotoThe Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç has said he cannot ensure the safety of teenagers who spend nights on board youth trains when boys and girls can move through the compartments easily.
Kılıç was speaking at a parliamentary session on Feb.26 when he picked up the issue of teenage summer camps that underwent gender segregation in a recent change of regulation that went into motion in June 11, 2012.
“I responded to about 20-30 parliamentary questions on the issue,” Kılıç said to deputies. “The Youth Train has over 200 teenagers on board. It leaves İzmir and reaches Ankara, stopping at national sights.
The kids spend the night on the train, because it is an overnight train. I cannot ensure safety on a train in which passing through compartments is easy and possible.”
Kılıç said that families appreciated the new gender segregation.
“The participation in these camps, which was 10,000 last year, has now increased to 200,000,” Kılıç said. “I have an obligation and a responsibility to the psychological development of those children.
[Boys and girls] may be together at school, in daily life, within families, but I have no obligation as a minister to have boy-girl mixed summer camps or theme camps. The families are most content about this.”
The formerly coed camps host participants between the ages of 13 and 22. The new regulation active since June 2012, however, called on state-funded camps to be hosted at different periods of time in an effort to keep them segregated by gender.