A new regulation of the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning requires movie theaters, operas, stage theaters, museums, libraries, hospitals, educational institutions, hostels and airports to have a nursery room and a prayer room.
This issue has been reflected in the media as “little mosques to be established in operas and theaters.” A prayer room is a place where religious people can perform their obligatory religious rituals. If there is a need for this, then it is a normal to response to this need; however, as modernization and religiousness are seen as conflicting issues in Turkey, reactions rained down on the ministry. It was during the Feb. 28, 1997 coup period that newspapers would carry headlines such as “Secularism is in danger” whenever students in a school were found to be praying in an empty classroom. It is as if praying is against secularism. I say what the ministry is doing now is true normalization.