Turkish Women not to laugh in public (or talk about ‘unnecessary things’ on the phone)

This has been on my Tweeter feed for a couple days, but I was waiting for some English-language article to come out, and here it is.

In a Holiday (Eid) message the Deputy Prime minister in Turkey, Bülent Arınç announced that in order to protect morality, and in particular chastity, women should stop laughing in public. What we need instead is women who

” blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity”.

The juxtaposition, in one of  the quotes from Arınç, of the act of laughing in public and ‘knowing what is haram’ – that is prohibited, as opposed to merely distasteful or not recommended – is disturbing: it seems that the Deputy PM is basically telling women that laughing in public is as bad as adultery.

Also, the country would be better off, apparently, if women stopped talking on the phone so much and met face-to-face instead. In my experience, Turkish men spend as much time on the phone as Turkish women, but I assume that their phone usage is necessary – because they have to be at work – whereas good Turkish women will be at home, and hence have time for a glass of tea and a chat with their mother-in-law, say.

But what will women do when they need to check with their husbands what to cook for dinner?