Turkey: students can't find accommodation
Since the semester began at Turkish universities in mid-September, students across the country have been sleeping in parks to protest the lack of dormitory accommodation and the inflated rent prices for that which is available. The national press examines the roots of the problem, which has now come to a head but has existed for many years.
Cheap dorms are recruiting grounds for Islamists
The Erdoğan government has paved the way for the housing shortage, criticises Gazete Duvar:
“First of all it pursues a policy in which the state withdraws as far as possible from the area of ensuring people's livelihoods and also privatises housing construction. Second, privatisation has played into the hands of the Islamists. ... The dorms managed by Tarikat [fundamentalist religious communities] sprang up like mushrooms and began offering their services at much cheaper rates. These dorms are aimed at luring young people with few means. ... In short, the current student housing problem has its roots in privatisation, which has turned children from poor, low-income families into easy prey for all kinds of groups.”
Private accommodation simply too expensive
The economic crisis in Turkey has exacerbated an old problem, Sözcü explains:
“Although in 20 years of AKP government the number of dormitory beds has been increased from 200,000 to 720,000, the shortage remains unchanged or has even intensified. ... Due to the high cost of living and unemployment, the number of students opting for private accommodation or renting apartments has plummeted. This has increased the burden on the state-sponsored student accomodation. The Ministry of Youth and Sports was caught unprepared when the universities reopened. ... The honorable minister should stop lashing out at the opposition and focus on giving hope to these young people and creating temporary solutions until a permanent one can be found.”