During a speech on the evils of moral corruption at a Eid el-Fitr meeting on Monday, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc scolded his country's women for talking on cell phones, not blushing in the presence of a man, and yes... laughing.
While marking the breaking of the fast for the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Arinc admonished the female half of the population for what he sees as the decay of modern society, The Hurriyet Daily News reported.
[Women] will know what is haram and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness..."
In response to this strict, and frankly bizarre, stance on public laughter, rival politician Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu took to Twitter with a more traditional view, saying that the country needs more, not less, laughter, including from its women. Ihsanoglu is running against Arinc's boss, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in August.
Erdogan is also under fire from the American Jewish Congress for his alleged efforts to incite violence towards the Jewish people amid criticism of Israel. The Turkish ambassador to the U.S. told the BBC that Erdogan will gladly comply with requests from the AJC that the Prime Minister return an award given to him by the organization in 2004 for being a strong advocate for peace in the Middle East.
Arinc also lamented that Turkish women aren't just a little more bashful.
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?”
Dice vicepremier turco Bülent Arinç que las mujeres no deberían reír en público, por decoro. Mi hermana se escojona. pic.twitter.com/lTvxjaUbBH— ilya u. topper (@ilyatopper) July 29, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.