FEMEN Turkey was the latest participant of the protest that spread on social media.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has defended his claim that his recent criticism against women “laughing” was interpreted out of context, while slamming women “who go for a vacation with their lovers while leaving their husbands behind and can’t wait to climb poles when they see one.”
“My speech was not just about a few reminders for women; it was targeting men, too,” Arınç said while answering public broadcaster TRT Haber’s questions on July 30.
Speaking during an Eid al-Fitr meeting on July 28, Arınç described his ideal of the chaste man and woman, saying they should both have a sense of shame and honor.
“Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men. [She] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womanizer. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. [The woman] 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 chastity,” he had said, sparking a heated debate.
On July 30, Arınç defended his words, saying the speech took some 1.5 hours, but complained that “some people pick a section of it and criticize” it.
“I stand by my words,” Arınç said, arguing that urging just women to not laugh is “irrational,” but his speech was about “general rules of ethics and good manners.”
“There are some artists who now laugh artificially and send me their photos. Real laughs relieve a person, but these are artificial ones. Those who go for a vacation with their lovers while leaving their husbands behind and can’t wait to climb poles when they see one,” Arınç added.
Arınç did not name any names, but Asena Erkin, wife of Fenerbahçe
footballer Caner Erkin, had recently shared a photo on her Instagram account, reading, “When I find a [dancing] pole, I never miss the chance.”
Asena Erkin had also reportedly gone for a vacation with a pop singer while her husband remained in Turkey last year.
Arınç’s controversial remarks had sparked a social media protest with hundreds of women in Turkey posting photos that show them laughing, shared under the hashtags #kahkaha (laugh) and #direnkahkaha (resist, laugh). Over 300,000 tweets were posted for the campaign, according to BBC Trending.
FEMEN Turkey was the latest participant of the protest, claiming in a tweet that ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials “can keep crying on TVs to deceive people, but women will keep on laughing.”
“You can live such a life. Instead of being angry at you, I only feel pity for you,” Arınç told TRT Haber.
“I personally think the act of adultery shouldn’t be committed and I condemn it,” he added.