July 30, 2014 7:21 pm
Updated: July 31, 2014 11:24 am

Turkish women protest deputy PM’s no laughing request


ABOVE: Listen to Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc’s comments for yourself

Hundreds of Turkish women took to social media with photos of themselves smiling and laughing to protest comments made by the country’s deputy prime minister that “women should not laugh aloud in public.”

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Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc created a firestorm of controversy when he said refraining from laughing aloud in public is among the requirements of being an honourable woman.

Arinc made the comments during a speech about “moral corruption” at a Eid al-Fitr holiday gathering Monday.

Using the term “kahkaha” – Turkish for “laughter” – and the hashtag “Resist Laughter” #direnkahkaha, women have posted hundreds of thousands of tweets with photos of them laughing and smiling.

READ MORE: Turkish PM’s adviser Yusuf Yerkel accused of kicking protester

“It was an extremely outrageous and conservative statement,” writer Ece Temelkuran told the BBC. “My whole timeline was full of women laughing – which was extraordinary, and kind of beautiful.”

Pervin Buldan, a female politician with the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, reportedly said “from now on, we will respond to all statements by Arınç by laughing.”

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been criticized by opposition parties and faced protests over its authoritarian rule and interference in citizens’ personal lives.

Below is some of the social media reaction to the Turkish deputy prime minister’s comments:

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