Turkey bans sexist billboards, posters and advertisements

TURKEY (Reuters) – A Turkish newspaper has banned sexist advertisements and posters in the capital Ankara in an attempt to curb harassment of women.

The Dogan news agency on Thursday banned advertisements with pictures of women in skimpy outfits and pictures of their faces in their early twenties, saying they were “not a sign of good character” and were considered insulting to women.

A similar ban was also put in place in Istanbul, the news agency said.

In recent weeks, a slew of advertisements featuring scantily-clad women have appeared in Ankara, Istanbul and Ankara-based cities including Istanbul, Izmir, Diyarbakir and Antalya, prompting widespread condemnation.

In Istanbul, billboards featuring scanty-clad models of young women with long hair were banned in July.

In Ankara, the Dogan said in a statement on Thursday that “unfortunately, the advertising of women’s bodies, including their bodies without clothing, is an affront to society’s expectations of beauty”.

The agency also banned ads that “promote or glorify violence, sexual violence or cruelty against women”.

“The government will not tolerate this and will do everything to prevent this from happening again,” Dogan quoted an official at the Ankara- based Ministry of Culture as saying.

In the Dogans statement, the government said it was “saddened” by the “insulting and offensive advertisements”, and “will work to eradicate them” as soon as possible.

“The authorities will ban all advertising that insults women and encourages violence against women, as well as all other forms of discriminatory advertising,” the statement said.

The Istanbul-based Dogan also said it had taken measures to prevent similar “offensive and offensive advertising”.

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