“Women should not laugh in public” - Turkish Deputy PM says

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By Athena Yenko | July 30, 2014 5:16 PM EST

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bülent Arınç, said that women should not laugh in public for it contributed to moral corruption.

Speaking during an Eid el-Fitr meeting on July 28, the deputy said that the ideal chaste man or woman should hold their sense of shame and honor in a very dignified standard.

REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Turkey's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an election rally in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, July 26, 2014.

"Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men. [She] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womanizer. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. [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 chasteness," Arınç said.

The women and men in Turkey had since then responded with sarcasm with the hashtag #DirenKahkaha (ResistLaugh) posted with photos of women laughing heartily.

Arınç went about urging people to discover Quran once again. He said that the ideal chaste girl that Turkey had before -  who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face - had long been gone.

He also said that women should not drive their own cars unnecessarily for even if the Nile River was full of oil, there would not be enough fuel to run cas.

He underlined that women should also not talk about unnecessary things on the phone.

"Women give each other meal recipes while speaking on the mobile phone. 'What else is going on?' 'What happened to Ayşe's daughter?' 'When is the wedding?' Talk about this face to face," he said.  

Arınç also blamed TV series for influencing teenagers to adapt a lifestyle similar to "sex addicts."

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, a rival against Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, criticised Arınç's statement saying that Turkey needs to hear women laughing more than anything. He pointed out that Arınç is highly critical of the diminishing morality  in the country while his party had been leading Turkey for the past 12 years now.

Another political official, deputy parliamentary head Pervin Buldan, had lightheartedly commented that people can now respond to all of Arınç's statements with laughing.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Umit Bektas / REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Turkey's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an election rally in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, July 26, 2014.
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