Turkish women defy Deputy PM's 'don't laugh' comments

A picture posted by FEMEN Turkey showing a woman laughing posing naked in protest against the Deputy PM's call for women not to laugh loudly. (Courtesy photo: #Femen_Turkey)

Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing online Wednesday in defiance to Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc’s remarks urging them to not laugh in public to "protect moral values."

 Ece Temelkuran, a Turkish journalist with almost one million followers on Twitter, was one of the many women who posted a photo of themselves laughing. She later re-tweeted several photos of other women who joined her.

Melda Onur, member of Turkey’s main opposition party CHP, Tweeted that Arinc's comments portrayed laughing as a disgraceful act that would expose women to violence.

Opponents accuse Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner and meddling in people's private lives, which has long been a source of conflict between the country's secularists and Erdogan's conservative supporters.

turkish women laughing

turkish women laughing

Erdogan is running to become the first directly elected president of predominantly Muslim Turkey.

Arinc, one of the co-founders of Erdogan's AK Party, said this week at a celebration of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan: "The woman should have chastity ... She should not laugh in front of everyone and not be inviting in her behaviour. She should protect her honour."

One women's organisation said it would file a criminal complaint against the deputy PM.

Arinc's comments, in which he also criticised television soap operas for promoting decadence, also drew criticism from opposition presidential candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu who tweeted: "Our country needs our women to laugh and to hear everyone's joyful laughter more than ever."


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43