Turkish women — and now, women around the world — are flooding social media pages with smiles for a pretty good reason.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc of the Justice and Development party made decidedly sexist remarks at an event to mark Eid el-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, causing an outcry across the country and beyond.
"[A woman] should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times," he said, according to the Guardian. He went on to blame soap operas and talking on mobile phones as part of the country's moral degradation.
Though Arinc later defended his words, saying they were aimed at both men and women, this did not keep many people in the country from lashing out in a widespread social media campaign , with the hashtag "Direnkahkaha" or "resist laughter" in English, reported the Hurriyet Daily News.
Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, tweeted (in Turkish) "Our country needs women's and everyone's laughter more than anything," reported the International Business Times.
Kadınlarımızın gülmesine ve herkesin şen kahkahalarının duyulmasına ülkemizin herşeyden daha çok ihtiyacı vardır.
— Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (@profdrihsanoglu) July 28, 2014
Ihsanoglu has also been quoted in the past as saying "religion and politics should be kept separate."
Take a look at exactly how women are responding to the decree that they shouldn't laugh loudly, and how their sisters across the world are joining in.
— istanbul dispatches (@Jim_Colella) July 29, 2014
— pelin can (@plncn68) July 28, 2014
— Veronica Simmonds (@VeeSimmonds) July 31, 2014
— Ilaria Cuzzolin (@Mammarisparmio) July 31, 2014
— Wanderlust (@rutaagayire) July 31, 2014
— Santiago (@Cla_Car) July 31, 2014
— Catherine Garcia (@CatherineNBCSD) July 31, 2014
— Margot Neyskens (@MargotNeyskens) July 31, 2014
— Karen Martin-Stone (@KMartinStone) July 31, 2014
— Laura Hoare (@LauraHoare_x) July 30, 2014
— valentina b. (@valebarretta) July 31, 2014