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Turkish Deputy PM: Women Shouldn’t Laugh in Public

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The Deputy PM of Turkey Bülent Ar?nç said today that women should refrain from laughing in public, because it’s immodest. In response to Ar?nç’s remarks, hundreds of Turkish women posted pictures of themselves laughing on social media platforms.

Ar?nç, who spoke at an Eid el-Fitr gathering yesterday said, “[The woman] will know what is haram [forbidden] and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness.”

Following Ar?nç’s remarks, hundreds of women protested by posting pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter and other social media sites like Instagram.

 

 

 

Ar?nç chided Turkish women saying, “Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?” he said.

This is not the first time that a member of PM Erdogan’s AK Party expouses misogynist views in public.

Erdogan himself announced plans to crack down on abortions and Caesarean section births. In 2008, he gave a speech on International Women’s Day in the city of Usak in which he advised women to have at least three children, but he said that he preferred that they have five.

In 2010, he told a group of women’s rights activists who he invited to Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul: "I don't believe in equality between men and women."

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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