ANKARA: Women’s rights activists and female legislators have filed a legal complaint against Turkey’s deputy prime minister who said last week that women should not laugh aloud in public. Legislator Aylin Nazliaka said the women filed the complaint with court officials in Istanbul Monday, accusing Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc of violating charters on gender discrimination and allowing women to become “targets” of possible violence if they laugh in public. Few expect the complaint to lead to legal action against the politician, but Nazliaka said women are sending Arinc a message that “his discriminatory” statements are not acceptable. Arinc said not laughing out loud in public is among the requirements of being an honorable woman. Women in Turkey protested his comments on social media by sharing photos of themselves laughing.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 05, 2014, on page 10.