Although it is not something I have to partake in, it is a subject that fascinates me.

When I would be cooking, he would come and stand next to me and just stare. Universities too have mostly same-sex housing for students, and women can only sit next to another man on intercity buses or trains if he is her partner.

This means that women and men don’t interact in all aspects of the word growing up and then, naturally, have skewed outlooks on dating and sex.

Under President Erdoğan’s leadership (whose party AKP has held government for 12 years), the conservatives have become more powerful and visible than ever before, and use sexual politics as one of the most important tools to control society.

On September 15, Ismail Akkiraz, the vice chairman of the über-conservative Saadet Party, told a crowd during a speech that, “due to the AKP’s inadequate policies, our youth do not know how to practice ablution, and 60% go around [not showering after sex].” A few weeks later, on October 1, Selman Ada, the new manager of the Turkish State Opera and Ballet, said that employees (besides the ballet dancers) can no longer wear “athletic wear, tight cotton shorts, tights, stretch jeans, sandals, slippers, spiked high heels, formal evening gowns” to work.

They would carry on, yelling, laughing, but when I would enter the room, they would go quiet as I’m a lady and I demand a certain kind of behavior.

We then lived with another two guys, this time in their early 30s, one of whom was gay but had a ‘beard’ as being openly gay is still taboo in this country (but that is a topic for another time) and one who had no social skills around women whatsoever. The problem is that women and men are not encouraged—on a large scale—to live together as friends in a share house or even as partners before marriage.Almost 98% of the population is Muslim and has to follow stringent Islamic halal sex rules.Sex is seen as something that should happen between a husband and wife, and practiced according to the teachings of Islam.All this results in outrageous public displays of affection in places such as Starbucks, which are seen as “Western” and “liberal,” and therefore justify a girl lying on top of her boyfriend and pretty much dry humping him.I should also mention that these views have largely contributed to Turkish men’s taste for foreign women—and also their often inappropriate treatment of them.Turkish Airlines has previously gotten into hot water for banning red cosmetics to be worn by stewardesses as this “impairs the visual integrity of the intended look” (read: is too sexy).