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 10:42 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 6:08 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 10:14 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 6:21 AM EDT, Fri October 24, 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