Turkey this month put new building rules into effect that outlaw studio apartments. The government swears it's to cut down on people illegally renting them out to tourists, but Vocative reports that critics see a thinly disguised ulterior motive: Leaders want to discourage people from living alone and instead get married. "It looks like they’re trying to force marriage on us," says one 25-year-old woman quoted in the piece.
It may sound like an outlandish accusation, but the story provides some context: In May, the mayor of a district in Istanbul criticized one-bedroom apartments because they don't "appeal to families," and the following month, the leader of a state-run housing program urged architects to build homes that mesh with “the Turkish family’s social life, culture, values and traditions.” The studio ban comes as the number of Turks who live alone has risen to more than 1 million, up 70% in a decade. Click for the full piece. (Read more Turkey stories.)