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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Urges Women 'Not To Laugh In Public', Social Media Floods With Giggling Selfies

30/07/2014 16:07 BST | Updated 30/07/2014 16:59 BST

The deputy prime minister of Turkey has urged the women of his country not to “laugh in public” and they have responded brilliantly – by literally laughing in his face.

Bülent Arınç delivered a speech complaining of “moral corruption” during an Eid el-Fitr meeting on 28 July, Hurriet Daily News reported.

He said: “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 with 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.”

Arınç’s comments have sparked a backlash on social media networks, inspiring a number of hashtags encouraging women to post images of themselves laughing in public.

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The terms “kahkaha” (Turkish for ‘laughter) and hashtags "Resist Laughter" (#direnkahkaha) and "Resist Woman" (#direnkadin) are all current on Twitter and Instagram.

Writer and political commentator Ece Temelkuran was among the first to post such an image.

She told BBC Trending: “It was an extremely outrageous and conservative statement. My whole timeline was full of women laughing – which was extraordinary, and kind of beautiful.”

Our thoughts exactly.