Women-only beach sparks debate among town locals in Turkey
Locals in a Marmara town object to municipality’s decision to install wooden screens around a section of the beach. DHA photoResidents of a Marmara town objected to the establishment of a women’s only section along the area’s public beach on the grounds it blocked the sea coast.
Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality recently announced residents could safely swim in the sea following cleaning efforts to rid the water of industrial and domestic pollution. The municipality then recently installed wooden screens around a section of the beach in Ereğli to establish a women’s only beach area, but locals have objected to the project.
“Women who want to cover themselves can also swim in the public beach. We don’t want a structure like this that blocks the shore,” a resident said.
Locals living in areas behind the screens interrupted construction efforts after learning about the project to establish a separate area for covered women to swim. Other Karamürsel residents have joined efforts to stop the establishment of the segregated beach, while some covered women actively support the petition to stop the construction.
Just last month the beach in the town of Karamürsel in the greater Kocaeli area earned the blue flag safety status after tests showed water quality was up to standard.
In a statement made by Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, it was reported that the women’s only beach was built upon extensive requests by covered and uncovered women alike.
“We have worked with great responsibility and without minding the unwarranted criticisms... We cleaned the area of 50 tons of waste [and] 120 tons of rubble, turning it into a beach. We have started a campaign on waste management, surface and floor cleaning. We performed beach arrangement on 47 different spots. Women who don’t want to go to beaches where both men and women are present made a special request at this point in the process and asked for a beach. We are happy to have such a request and to fulfill it,” a written statement by Kocaeli Municipality said.