DirenKahkaha Turkey women laugh
Turkish women took to social media in response to claims they should not laugh by a government minister. Instagram/@diilanyldz

Thousands of Turkish women have flooded social media with photos of themselves laughing and smiling in a backlash against a government minister who said it is an indecent behaviour.

The hashtag #DirenKahkaha - ResistLaugh - climbed to the top 10 world trends on Twitter, hours after Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc claimed honest women should not laugh in public.

"Laughing is a revolutionary act," tweeted a group of female members of the opposition People's Democratic Party.

The Twitter protest was also backed by radical feminist group Femen.

User @Sibellgul tweeted:

Arınc, a prominent member of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's conservative government, made the controversial remark during a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) held during Turkey's celebration of Eid, the day marking the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan.

Praising traditional values, the 66-year-old politician listed some rules women should abide to, saying: "She will not laugh in public. She will not make display of her attractiveness."

Lamenting what he said was Turkey's moral decadence, Arınc also accused women of using mobile phones too often.

Mocking a woman chatting on the phone, he said: "Is there nothing else going on? What happened to Ayse's daughter? When's the wedding?'. . . People should say these things face to face."

The comments were seized on by opposition leader Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is running against Erdogan in the presidential elections in August.

He tweeted: "What our country needs the most is to hear the merry laugher of our women and of everyone else."