Official Says Women Shouldn't Laugh, Country Cracks Up

Turkey's deputy PM blasts 'moral collapse'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2014 3:09 AM CDT
Updated Jul 30, 2014 7:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – Turkey's deputy leader doesn't like it when women laugh in public, but he's caused plenty of hilarity across the country. In a widely mocked speech attacking "moral corruption," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc slammed women for spending too much time talking on the phone, said they shouldn't laugh in public, and called for Turkish people to spend more time reading the Koran, reports USA Today. The woman "will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness," he said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

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After his speech, hundreds of Turkish women took to social media to share photos of themselves laughing in public, using hashtags like #direnkahkaha, which means "resist, laugh." Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's main rival in August's election, was quick to counter the deputy leader's remarks, the Independent reports. "We need to hear the happy laughter of women," he said. Other opposition leaders suggest countering all of Arinc's remarks with laughter—and point out that his own party has spent the last 12 years governing the country he says is in moral collapse. (Read more Turkey stories.)

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