Skip to main content

Turkish flight attendants see red over lipstick policy

By Gul Tuysuz, CNN
updated 8:40 AM EDT, Sat May 4, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Critics take to social media to voice outrage over new dress code
  • The airline is Turkey's national flag carrier
  • Turkey's culture pits Muslim elite against the old guard secularists

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

(CNN) -- Turkey's main airline is banning certain shades of lipstick and nail polish among flight attendants. And the cabin crew is not happy about it.

Outrage spilled into social media, sparking newspapers columns and a movement after Turkish Airlines announced the new dress code this week.

The dress code calls for plain makeup in pastel colors.

"Red, dark pink and similar colors of lipstick and nail polish that are not in the current uniforms breaks up visual coherence," the airline statement said.

Critics of the new dress code have taken to Twitter and Facebook to voice their outrage.

A columnist with the nation's Daily Hurriyet urged women to send in photos of themselves in red lipstick, dubbing it the "Red Lipstick Movement."

The airline is Turkey's national flag carrier, and though recently privatized, it is 49% government-owned.

Turkey's culture wars pitting the pious Muslim elite against the old guard secularists have played out recently in a debate over the airline's policies.

Many who fear encroaching conservative values point to steps Turkish Airlines has taken in recent months, especially restricting the appearance of its female cabin crew.

Last month, when photos of new uniforms being considered for the airline were leaked on social media, many criticized the more conservative trend, which featured longer hemlines and more traditional necklines.

Another set of recent guidelines prohibited flight attendants from having platinum blond hair as well as certain shades of red dye.

The airline also made headlines last month when it banned alcohol service on a majority of domestic flights, citing low demand. It also stopped serving alcohol on eight international flights at the request of the host countries, it said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Al Qaeda's new Syrian branch, Khorasan, is seeking new ways to attack America and Europe, with a top U.S. intelligence official saying it has "aspirations for attacks on the homeland."
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT