No Joke: Turkey Deputy PM Says Women Shouldn’t Laugh in Public

Enough with the jokes.Turkish women should not laugh out loud in public, the country's deputy prime minister has said. And while they're at it, they should blush slightly and lower their heads while averting their eyes from men. Speaking about "moral corruption" during an Eid el-Fitr meeting Monday, Bülent Arınç complained that men and women have lost their morals. “Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men," he said. "[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.”

The politician said Turkish people needed to rediscover the Quran and blamed TV series aimed at young people for making teens obsessed with sex. Women reacted to the statement on social media by tweeting photos of themselves laughing, using the hashtag #kahkaha (laugh) and #direnkahkaha (resist, laugh).


— Aziz Akyavas and Christina Boyle