The Mediterranean province of Antalya, known as one of Turkey’s top tourism centres, will soon have a women-only beach, Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel has announced.
The Sarısu beach will be turned into a free of charge, women-only beach before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends on July 27, Türel said during a fast-breaking iftar meal at a municipal nursing home on July 16.
He said the beach would not be reserved exclusively to women who dress in Islamic attire, and stressed that all women would still be able to choose between going to mixed or women-only beaches.
Turel stated that the move was “a necessity to serve all citizens for whom the Constitution stipulates affirmative action,” adding that the municipality had recently transformed Konyaaltı, another beach in the province, into a free of charge beach adapted for the use of disabled people.
The mayor also recalled that there were women-only beaches in Antalya in the 1930s when the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was president, saying he was “happy to be the person who remembered this after 80 years.”
The Sarısu beach is located near the highway exit leading to Kemer, a touristic area hugely popular among visitors coming from former Soviet countries, particularly Russia and Ukraine.