And our Imbecile of the Week is …

And our Imbecile of the Week is …

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who decreed that women should not laugh in public … a statement that set of howls of derision!

In a speech this week about “moral corruption” in Turkey, the numpty said:

Chastity is so important. She will not laugh in public.

Mr Bull in a Ring’s kaka prompted an almighty  backlash from women on social media in Turkey, with thousands posting photos of themselves laughing and smiling on Twitter and Instagram.

There have been more than 300,000 tweets using the term “kahkaha” – the Turkish word for “laughter” –  on the hashtags “Resist Laughter” (#direnkahkaha) and “Resist Woman” (#direnkadin).

Hazal Naz Besleyici doesn't want the government telling her whether she can laugh or not

Ms Besleyici doesn’t want the government telling her whether or not she can laugh

Many suggested the government should focus on issues like rape, domestic violence and the marriage of girls at a young age – rather than women laughing in public.

Said writer and political commentator Ece Temelkuran, who has almost one million followers on Twitter:

It was an extremely outrageous and conservative statement.

She was among the first to tweet an image of herself smiling –  and encouraged other women to do the same.

My whole timeline was full of women laughing  – which was extraordinary, and kind of beautiful.

On Instagram it was a similar story.

Said 23-year-old Hazal Naz Besleyici who posted a photo of herself with a broad grin in response to the comments.

I’m free and whether I laugh or not is my decision. They should not interfere in our life.

Many men in Turkey have joined in the criticism of the deputy prime minister.

Tweeted Fatih Portakal, a famous Turkish TV presenter.

Oh God, let this be just a joke.  If women can’t laugh in public, then men should not cry in public.

This was  reference to the Deputy PM’s reputed propensity to shed a tear when listening to speeches by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan himself prompted a similar reaction in Turkey two years ago when he referred to abortion as “murder”. Many women posted photos of their stomachs to social media, with the words:

My body, my decision.

The first round of the presidential election is due on August 10, and among the hundreds of thousands of comments and images about women laughing, was a tweet from one of the contenders challenging Erdogan for the job, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Clearly seeing an opportunity to seize the mood, he wrote:

More than anything else, our country needs women to smile and to hear everybody’s laughter.

In his speech, the Deputy PM also called on men not to be “womanisers” and blamed TV shows for encouraging teenagers to become “sex addicts”. While the general tide of opinion on social media was damning in response, he did get some support.

One man tweeted to say Arinc was simply trying to uphold “moral values” that form “part of Turkish culture”.

Hat tip: Angela K and Agent Cormac

18 responses to “And our Imbecile of the Week is …”

  1. Barry Duke says:

    And while on the subject of idiots, I see that Pat Robertson has been venting his spleen again:

  2. Broga says:

    It’s a power game, isn’t it? This clown is trying it on. “I will tell you how to behave and what to think.” What you are not supposed to do is question the reasoning behind the decree. There was a time when these decrees were accepted and followed unthinkingly. Looks like those days are over.

  3. Norman Paterson says:

    Broga – I wish those days were over, but I fear they still have some way to run. Every religion seems to involve men telling women what to do and how to do it. Are there any exceptions?

    Of course it is dressed up eg by Islam saying that men inherit twice as much as women because the men have to “look after” the women. The fact that the women are reduced to dependent chattels by this is glossed over (but it is in fact the whole reason). It is for their own good. Like protective custody.

  4. L.Long says:

    Yes we must stop these laughing women!!! Let them get away with it and soon they will want to drive cars! or vote!!!???!!!
    It is very hard to make this crap sound like something that is made up knowing that the reality is many MANY times worse.

  5. Broga says:

    Norman Paterson: What I had in mind is that these religious bigots can be challenged in a way that was not previously possible. We have the internet to thank for much of that. I only wish they were totally over.

  6. Mephisto says:

    Turkey is another place I wont be visiting anymore…the backwards chimps are taking over.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    I just love the fact that religious idiocy and intransigence can be fought with something as natural and as simple as a smile. Speaks absolute volumes.

  8. mikespeir says:

    Do I really want to know how they get from laughing to unchaste?

  9. Matt Westwood says:

    Bear in mind that Islam takes a dim view of laughter by *anyone*, with or without dicks.

    As for teenagers becoming sex addicts, surely sex-addiction is the defining trait of *being* a teenager?

  10. Barry Duke says:

    “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. …” (Political thought and legacy of Khomeini, Wikipedia, 20 November 2010).

  11. Robster says:

    Next it’ll be music and drinking…oh..wait..

  12. Trevor Blake says:

    “Do not laugh too much, for laughing deadens the heart.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2305; Ibn Maajah, 4193.


  13. Maggie says:

    He has suddenly realised women aren’t laughing WITH him…

  14. . says:

    What exactly is the attraction of islam?

  15. Matt Westwood says:

    “What exactly is the attraction of islam?”

    People with dicks: you get to tell people without dicks what to do.

    People without dicks: you never have to make a decision again because everything you do is dictated by someone who’s got a dick.

  16. Norman Paterson says:

    The attraction is it has a simple answer for everything, no thinking required. It therefore appeals to people not so good at critical thinking – which includes children, unfortunately. Plus, if you have a dick, you get extra power and perks just by virtue of your genitalia. And when you die, you get all the sexual pleasure you could want (and didn’t get in life).

    All in all, a very attractive package for a certain kind of person.

  17. Ann-Marie (Cookie Kinns) Meyers says:

    This is not just an atheist/free thinkers issue, nor is it a feminist issue. I am a Christian, and, oh, yes, I guess I am a feminist, and I can see the broader implications of this. One of my most powerful weapons in the war of hatred we have going in the US today is my smile and my ability to make people laugh. There are days when my young adult daughter and I will be so fed up with things, we will break out our bright red wax lips and stroll through town, meeting peoples’ eyes and causing smiles to happen, just to counteract crabby people frowns.

  18. AgentCormac says:

    Which particular war of hatred are you referring to, A-M?