Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister has said that women should not laugh in public or talk about “unnecessary” things on the phone. Bülent Arınç also called for Turks to “rediscover the Koran”, adding that television had turned teenagers into “sex addicts”.
Speaking at an Eid al-Fitr event in the city of Bursa, he added that Turks had “abandoned their values” and said that people should have a sense of shame and honour.
He said: “Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men. [Woman] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womaniser.
“He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness,” he added.
Hurriyet Daily News adds that he then went on to condemn the state of young Turkish women:””Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?” He said that, thanks to TV, teenagers are now growing up as sex “addicts”, and that the web, newspapers and universities only encourage them.
Going back to women, he said that they also talk about too many “unnecessary” things on the telephone.
“Women give each other meal recipes while speaking on the mobile phone. ‘What else is going on?’ ‘What happened to Ayşe’s daughter?’ ‘When is the wedding?’ Talk about this face to face.”
In a nod towards environmentalism, Arınç also said that Turkish people should cut down on their use of cars, saying that even if the Nile was full of oil, there would still not be enough to fuel Turkey’s cars.
Although Turkey is officially a secular country, there have been growing concerns in recent years that the ruling AKP party are trying to dismantle that an impose Islamic values.
Opposition parties were quick to round on Arınç’s comments. Burhan Şenatalar, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, said: “If a man can think only this way in a bayram [festival] day, then this mentality has a problem. [Prime Minister Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan has the same mentality problem.”
The Nationalist Movement party added that “Arınç claims that Turkey is in moral collapse, but his own party has been governing the country for the past 12 years.”
Meanwhile, Pervin Bildan of the People’s Democratic Party mocked Arınç’s comments on women laughing in public by Tweeting: “From now on, we will respond to all statements by Arınç by laughing.”