Does Norwegian culture really put value on drinking alcohol and provocative dress?
80% of women and children at the Betzy shelter in Drammen are of immigrant background, but deputy head of the Drammen immigrant council Senol Karagøz thinks many abuse the center.
He says women must endure quarrels and scolding without having to seek protection in a crisis center. He hears of cases where the women exploited the center just to get permission to go out to town or leave their husband.
He thinks crisis centers destroy all hope for the men who's wives are there, and that family values are always more important than both rights and freedom. He says he's heard of men who tried seeking reconciliation, but were told they weren't allowed to speak with their wife.
He says women who come to Norway are often infected by the Norwegian culture, with focus on equality, alcohol, provocative dress, and rights. It's dangerous and comes into conflict with the traditional values, says Karagøz, who's also a leading member in the Turkish community.
Karagøz is supported by Abedin Osman, head of the Islamic Culture Center, in the attitude that women should only blame themselves for ending up in a crisis center.
"We who come from other countries, have a different ways to live by, and a different attitude towards women. The women also have responsibility for what happens," he says.
Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)
Senol Karagøz says he has been misunderstood and was misquoted. Though he had read the article beforehand, the journalist changed what he had said.
Eivind Kopland of Drammens Tidende says Karagøz had read the article twice and could have corrected the quotes.
Karagøz adds he was misinterpreted. He had never said a woman must take scolding, but that small quarrels are not enough to destroy a family relationship.
Drammens Tidende had never gotten so many responses as they did for this interview. By the afternoon the paper had 200 reader responses on its site. Several were censured for different reasons.
Karagøz: If I had really said what it says in the paper, I beg forgiveness from all my heart. But if what I've said was written in the same way I've said it, it would have reflected some completely different, namely something positive. I always support a positive view, always been the one who worked for justice and will never support anything evil. My personality and background don't go together with what it says in the paper. If somebody says what it says there, he must be wrong.
Karagøz says nobody thinks a shelter is a place to get help with a relationship that's gone slightly bad. People don't know what a shelter is for.
He says refugees who come to Norway don't get the help they need to adapt themselves to this society. This can cause problems in a family. These people must get help and shown how they should begin to adapt themselves.
The Norwegian Progress Party (Frp) has already called on Karagøz to leave the country.
Spokesperson Per Willy Amundse: When he's completely so little integrated into Norwegian society that he complains about equality, dress style and women's rights, I don't understand why he chooses to live here. He can just leave Norway and move to a country where there are such attitudes.
He adds that he's not surprised there are such attitudes among immigrants, but rather that Karagøz lays them out so clearly. He asks whether the media image of attitudes in the immigrant community are real or whether Karagøz presents the real picture.
Lavrans Kierulf of Drammen Frp, agrees, saying that such attitudes don't belong in Norway in today's society. He doesn't see a problem with freedom of speech. There should be no tolerance for such women-discriminating attitudes in Norway.
Kierulf says that there have been such attitudes in the city for a long time and he doesn't think Karagøz is the only one holding them.
Source: VG , DT 1, 2 (Norwegian)