Turkish Women Have Last Laugh on Twitter, Reject Gov’t Puritanism

Euronews: ‘ “A woman should not laugh in front of everyone. She should protect her honour.”

These were the words which landed Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in deep water this week.’

Euronews: “Turkey’s Women have the last Laugh”

To be fair, Arinc used a word (kahkaha) that more means guffaw than laugh. But his prescription for “chaste” (haya) behavior among women is indisputably a blast from a conservative Turkish Muslim past. The Egyptian 18th century chronicler Al-Jabarti complained that during Napoleon Bonaparte’s occupation of Egypt (1798-1801), women walked freely in the streets and laughed in public. Urban Turkey is fairly secular and educated women were not so much appalled as falling down laughing at Arinc’s remarks. (- Juan)

Here are some of the tweets pushing back against the Justice and Development Party, a party of the religious right in Turkey:

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 12.49.01 AM

3 Responses

  1. Last year, another AK Parti official declared that was improper for women in the last months of pregnancy to walk in the streets. If they wish to leave the house, they should wait for their husbands to come home and then drive them around in the evening if they want to go out. This official seemed to think that all women had the luxury of not having to work, to have a family car and have no errands, shopping, etc. I wonder what he thought about women who have to work in the fields or scrub floors in someone else’s house to feed her family.

  2. Less jolly:
    A local court in the eastern province of Erzurum has reduced the sentence of a husband who attacked his wife after seeing her with another man, arguing that her wearing tights and sitting “slightly leaning to one side” could be described as “provocative” and an extenuating circumstance.
    Defense lawyers denigrated D.K., arguing that she provoked the husband’s anger by sitting in the backseat of the car while wearing tights and leaning toward one side.
    But D.K. rejected her husband’s accusations, claiming that the man in the driver’s seat, A.P., was a friend of 14 years and that her husband saw them at a gas station while they were going to pick up her brother and sister.
    He asked me ‘Why did you leave me?’ when he entered in the car and stabbed me. Then he said: ‘I told you I would kill you. Now it will be your family’s turn,’” D.K. told the court.

    And MORE Arinc:
    “There are women who leave on holiday without their husbands and others who don’t have self-control and can’t stop themselves from climbing up a pole.”

    “Moderate Islam” kahkaha

  3. Reminds me of when former President Saleh in Yemen said women should not be protesting in Sana’a because it is not proper for woman to do that. Yemeni women were rightfully angry. I am more pleased with that than Turkish women “revolting” against a nation already largely secular and stable. Instead of giving attention to this comment about laughter, more accountability should remain to be had for the fact that women in Turkey are STILL unable to wear hijab in some places. It is all control in the end, no matter if it fits your model of control or not.

Comments are closed.