Turkish women defy Deputy PM's 'don't laugh in public' remark
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:32PM EDT
Turkish women are making Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc a laughing stock, sharing pictures of themselves laughing after he urged women not to chuckle in public.
Posting under the hashtag #kahkaha, which means "laughter” in Turkish, women are seen laughing in Arinc's face through photos posted to Twitter and Instagram.
Arinc's controversial remarks came as part of a speech to mark the last day of Ramadan on Monday. "A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent," he said. "She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times."
But many Turkish women are doing exactly the opposite, laughing loudly in front of all the world. And now, the world is getting on board.
Even Neelie Kroes, the EU's Commissioner for Digital Agenda, got in on the fun. "#LOL. I'm in Istanbul in September. And I'll laugh when I feel like it, thanks, Mr Arinc. #khakaha," she said on Twitter.
It's not the first time a Turkish politician's words have put him in the crosshairs of social media. Two years ago, PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened abortion to murder, sparking intense reaction from Turkey's feminist community. Many posted photos and videos to social media using the phrase "my body, my decision."
Turkey has a contentious history with social media users. The country banned YouTube and Twitter earlier this year, but has since lifted those bans.