Turkish pop star Gulsen has been arrested on costs of “inciting hatred and enmity” over a joke she made about Turkey’s non secular faculties, the nation’s state-run information company reported.
The 46-year-old singer and songwriter, whose full title is Gulsen Colakoglu, was taken away for questioning from her dwelling in Istanbul and was formally arrested late on Thursday earlier than being taken to a jail pending her trial.
The arrest sparked outrage on social media. Authorities critics mentioned the transfer was an effort by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consolidate his non secular and conservative assist base forward of elections in 10 months’ time.
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The fees have been primarily based on a joke Gulsen made throughout a live performance in Istanbul again in April when she quipped that considered one of her musicians’ “perversion” stemmed from the truth that he went to a non secular faculty. A video of the singer making the feedback started circulating on social media just lately, with a hashtag calling for her arrest.
Gulsen — who had already been the goal of Islamic circles for her revealing stage outfits — issued an apology for the offense brought on however mentioned her feedback have been seized on by these eager to deepen polarization within the nation.
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Throughout her questioning, Gulsen rejected accusations that she incited hatred and enmity, telling court docket authorities that she had “infinite respect for the values and sensitivities of my nation,” the state-run Anadolu Company reported.
A request that she be launched from custody pending the result of a trial was rejected.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chief of Turkey’s predominant opposition celebration referred to as on Turkey’s judges and prosecutors to launch Gulsen.
“Do not betray the legislation and justice; launch the artist now!” he wrote on Twitter.
The spokesman for Erdogan ruling celebration, Omer Celik, appeared nonetheless, to defend the choice to arrest the singer, saying “inciting hatred just isn’t an artwork type.”
“Concentrating on a phase of society with the allegation of “perversion” and making an attempt to polarize Turkey is a hate crime and a shame to humanity,” Celik tweeted.
Erdogan and lots of members of his Islam-based ruling celebration are graduates of non secular faculties, which have been initially established to coach imams. The variety of non secular faculties has elevated underneath Erdogan, who has promised to boost a “pious era”.
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