Hundreds of students in Turkey have been protesting in Istanbul against the prime minister’s plans to ban mixed-sex accomodation in state-run halls of residence.
It comes after Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the current set-up as “illegitimate”.
“I’m a university student, I’m young and also a woman. I’m here because the AK party declared that mixed-sex students are living together, thus targeting us students. I’m against this decision as a woman and as a student,” said protester Hazal Bakan.
One political analyst told euronews why Erdogan may not even be able to implement his intentions.
Cengiz Aktar from the Istanbul Policy Centre said: “I don’t even think that this can be done by a legal regulation or a decree. But I will tell you what will happen. Some people will take it upon themselves to be the moral police force – they will harass young people and their families, defending their attitudes based on the prime minister’s statement. It’s already started.”
Erdogan has repeatedly denied accusations of interfering in people’s personal lives but his critics say his party is gradually eroding freedoms and secular Turkish values.