Personal space

Tulip-shaped park seats installed in Turkey so women can sit solo

People sit on park benches, as they enjoy the sunny weather at the English Garden in downtown Munich April 8, 2010. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle (GERMANY - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY) - RTR2CK9W

Park seats that rotate 360 degrees have been installed in Istanbul’s Avcilar district, specifically designed for women who prefer to sit alone, Haberler news reported this week. The 600 new tulip-shaped personal seats came about after Mayor Handan Toprak noticed a visibly tired, conservatively-dressed woman who didn’t care to share a park bench with a man whom she did not know. “We had to give an option to women, a free choice,” Toprak said. “I know [women] are concerned that sitting with a stranger, with a man they do not know, will fuel rumors that the woman on the bench is having an affair.”

Another 600 personal seats will be installed in the area in the future. The tulip shape pays tribute to Turkey’s native flower, which is celebrated each year at a festival in Istanbul.

Read the full story at the BBC.

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