Turkish Deputy PM doesn't want women laughing in public

By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   July 30, 2014 at 5:19 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, July 30 (UPI) -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç faced some backlash on social media Wednesday after he said women should not laugh in public to protect their chastity.

"[The woman] will know what is haram and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chastity," he said during a speech on morality Monday.

Criticism of Arınç's comments came swiftly; thousands of Turkish girls posted selfies of themselves laughing with the hashtags #kahkaha (laugh) and #direnkahkaha (resist, laugh) in response to his remarks.

BBC Trending estimates more than 300,000 tweets were posted. Arınç contimues to stand by his statement and went on to liken women who go on vacations without their husbands to pole dancers.

"There are some artists who now laugh artificially and send me their photos. Real laughs relieve a person, but these are artificial ones. Those who go for a vacation without their husbands and can't wait to climb poles when they see one," he told the Hurriyet Daily News.

In addition to the backlash he received from Turkish women, opposition presidential candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu tweeted his support for females in the country, writing, "Our country needs our women to laugh and to hear everyone's joyful laughter more than ever."

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