Mummy Buzz


Why Are Women In Turkey Smiling And Laughing In Public?

Resist Woman, Resist Laughter

woman laughing in Turkey

Women in Turkey are taking and sharing photos of themselves—get this—smiling on social media. Shocking, isn't it? The backlash, if you can call it that, comes after the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, recently stated that women should not smile or laugh in public in the interest of maintaining their chastity.

According to an article in the BBC, following Arinc's comments, some 300,000 tweets with "kahkaha" (Turkish for "laughter"), as well as those with the hashtags #direnkahkaha ("Resist Laughter") and #direnkadin ("Resist Woman"), were shared on Twitter and Instagram.

One of the first to post a smiling photo of herself was writer and political commentator Ece Temelkuran, who decried Arinc's statement as "extremely outrageous and conservative."

"My whole timeline was full of women laughing—which was extraordinary, and kind of beautiful," she told the BBC.

Of course, as with the #Yesallwomen campaign, many Turkish men also spoke up against the absurdity of the Deputy Prime Minister's remarks.

"Oh God, let this be just a joke," tweeted a Turkish TV presenter, Fatih Portakal. "If women can't laugh in public, then men should not cry in public." 

Then again, in the same speech, Arinc also blamed television for turning teens into "sex addicts," so perhaps the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater in this case.

Preposterous statement, or is Arinc simply trying to uphold Turkey's moral fibre?

This Canadian politician clearly doesn't have a clue when it comes to the realities of modern parenthood.