A Turkish pop star might resist three years in jail after she was indicted Friday for “inciting hatred and enmity” over a joke she made about spiritual faculties within the nation.
Singer-songwriter Gülşen — usually labelled as Turkey’s Madonna — was jailed final week however was launched 4 days later and positioned below home arrest.
The fees stem from a quip the singer made throughout a live performance in April when she joked that one in every of her musicians’ “perversion” got here from attending a non secular college. A video of the singer’s remark started circulating on social media not too long ago, with a hashtag calling for her arrest.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and plenty of members of his Islam-based ruling get together are graduates of spiritual faculties known as Imam Hatip, which had been initially established to coach imams.
The 48-page indictment has 702 complainants, together with people, a pro-government girls’s rights group and an affiliation from the spiritual college.
Turkey’s penal code criminalises incitement of hatred and enmity towards completely different teams in society based mostly on class, race, faith or sect, requiring a jail sentence in circumstances that result in threats towards public security.
In her assertion to the police included within the indictment, Gülşen stated she had joked with a band member whose nickname was “imam” however who had not attended the college.
“I by no means stated this to insult or denigrate college students of Imam Hatips or a section of our nation. My respect for all values and sensitivities of the nation is everlasting,” she stated and denied the fees.
The 46-year-old singer had beforehand develop into a goal in Islamic circles resulting from her revealing stage outfits and for unfurling an LGBTQ+ flag at a live performance.
A court docket has to approve the indictment for the trial to start. A request by Gülşen’s lawyer for her to be launched from home arrest was rejected.