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Women Defy Turkey's Deputy PM, Who Said Women Shouldn't Laugh In Public

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç stirred some controversy on Monday, when during an Eid el-Fitr speech, he said chaste women should not laugh in public.

"Chastity is so important," Arınç said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. "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 chasteness."

Women all over the world reacted. We'll let them speak for themselves:

Hurriyet reports that Arınç defended his words, saying he was not criticizing natural laughter.

"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 said, according to Hurriyet.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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