PC: NBC News
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish pop diva Gulsen Colakoglu has been imprisoned on suspicion of “inciting or insulting the public to hostility and enmity” after she made a joke about religious schools in her country.
The accusations appear to be connected to a social media video from a Gulsen performance in April in which she made fun of one of the musicians.
He “graduated from Imam Hatip (religious schools) (religious schools). His perverted side stems from there, “She spoke.
On Thursday, a number of Twitter users were observed posting the video along with a hashtag demanding her arrest and claiming it was insulting to link the schools with perverts.
According to Gulsen’s attorney Emek Emre, she is contesting the arrest and claims she has not committed any crimes.
Gulsen posted an apology to “anyone who was offended” by the joke on her official Twitter and Instagram accounts after being detained. She claimed that the joke had been perverted by “malicious people who wish to polarise our country.”
“I cracked a joke with my coworkers, who I had been in the company with for a long time. It was released by those attempting to divide society, “She spoke.
“In defending the freedom I hold dear, I feel myself being pulled toward the extreme end that I decry. I sincerely regret any offence my remarks in the video may have caused “She spoke.
According to Anadolu, she then claimed in a testimony that it was a “unfortunate joke” and wanted to be released. She also claimed that she had a child who depended on her and that she would appear in court or at a police station as needed.
Gulsen has previously come under attack from conservative Turkish organisations due to her provocative stage attire and advocacy for the LGBTQ community.
Despite being formally secular, the nation with a Muslim majority is deeply divided over issues of secularism, religion, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights.
In the two decades that the hardline Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power, Imam Hatip schools—which teach religious subjects alongside the Turkish curriculum—have expanded. The schools are renowned for preparing students to become preachers or imams. Numerous members of the AKP party as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the institution.
Dispute in Turkey
The arrest has sparked reactions from everyday Turks, famous people, and even political parties.
Social media images after her detention showed Gulsen supporters singing her songs in support in a crowded soccer stadium.
Elif Shafak, a celebrated British-Turkish author, and other cultural figures demanded Gulsen’s release.
“I sincerely lament the artist @gulsen’s arrest. Her aggressive support of women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, secularism, democracy, and pluralism made her a target. A lynching campaign is underway. It is not morally or legally acceptable. Free at once. #gulsenserbestbırakılsın, “Tweeted she.
Tarkan, a well-known Turkish pop star, tweeted on Friday that “this injustice to Gulsen must end and Gulsen must be released immediately.”
“When it comes to Gulsen, people prosecute those who sexually abuse children, kill women, and rape women without making an arrest and occasionally even let them go without a trial. Our court system, which disregards people who are dishonest, steal, break the law, destroy the environment, murder animals, use religion as a justification for their own bigoted beliefs, and divide society, arrests Gulsen at the first opportunity “He wrote as well.
Members of the AKP defended the detention, with spokesperson Omer Celik of the party asserting on Twitter that “inciting hatred is not an art form.”
Dr. Nurettin Nebati, the country’s minister of finance and the treasury, tweeted: “Our Imam Hatip High Schools are our illustrious institutions that produce generations who are morally mature and equipped with our national and moral ideals. I find it inappropriate and strongly condemn this warped language and the distorted attitude that behind it, which attacks our children attending our Imam Hatip Schools.”
The outcry against Gulsen, according to the chairman of Turkey’s largest opposition party, is a fabricated dispute designed to “set our young people against each other.”
“Long among young people of various lifestyles, the winds of peace have been blowing. The intention behind the arrest is to use an out-of-context joke to incite conflict among our youth. To maintain more control, and to steal and seize more, “On Twitter, Kemal Kilicdaroglu posted.
Early next summer is when Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are expected to take place.