Turkish couples tell subway authorities to kiss off

About 100 people kissed in protest at a Turkish subway station Saturday after officials urged passengers to refrain from locking lips.

ANKARA, Turkey — Dozens of couples have locked lips at a subway stop in Turkey's capital, Ankara, to protest subway authorities' admonishment of a couple that kissed in public.

Turkish couples tell authorities to kiss off: Riot police stand at a subway entrance in Ankara, Turkey.AP Photo: Burhan Ozbilici

Turkish media say that, earlier in the week, Ankara subway officials made an announcement asking passengers "to act in accordance with moral rules" after security cameras spotted the couple kissing.

The issue prompted an opposition lawmaker to question the Islamist-rooted ruling party, which many secularists fear wants to expand the role of Islam in Turkey, about whether subway officials were authorized to make such demands.

Some 100 people in the station kissed for several minutes in protest Saturday. Demonstrators carried signs reading "Free Kisses" and chanted slogans.

A pro-Islamist group of some 20 people staged a counter-protest. Police set up barricades between the groups.