Turkish women are posting laughing selfies on social media in defiance of one of the country’s top government officials who said that women scolded women for laughing out loud in public.
Vice Prime Minster Bülent Arinç, a conservative politician, complained on Monday that Turkey's society is in moral decline, and complained that women who don't control their laughs in public were part of the country's problem.
“A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should now what is decent and what is not decent. She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times,” Arinc said, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
He suggested that by not laughing in public a woman "will protect her chasteness.”
Arinc's statement has stirred up a social media uproar, followed by Turkish women posting their laughing selfies on Twitter along with the hashtag #direnkahkaha, which means resist laughter.
Arinc's comment has also given his political opponents ammunition. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish politician who is running for presidency against Arinc’s boss, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, blasted Arinc’s statement via Twitter, saying that Turkey needed women to laugh, as well as to hear everybody’s happy laughter.