A Joke Gulsen Made In April Began Circulating On Social Media, Prompting Charges Of 'inciting Hatred And Enmity'

A Joke Gulsen Made In April Began Circulating On Social Media, Prompting Charges Of ‘inciting Hatred And Enmity’

In a report carried by the nation’s state-run news agency, Turkish pop star Gulsen has been arrested on charges of “inciting hatred and enmity” against Turkey’s religious schools with a joke she made about them.

It would appear that the 46-year-old singer and songwriter, whose full name is Gulsen Colakoglu, was taken away from her home in Istanbul for questioning and was later arrested before being taken to prison pending a trial.

A joke Gulsen made during a concert in Istanbul in April, in which she joked that one of her musicians’ “perversions” was the result of attending a religious school, led to the charges being brought against her.

It was only recently that a video of the singer’s comment began circulating online, with a hashtag calling for her arrest in response.

There was outrage on social media as a result of the arrest.

A Joke Gulsen Made In April Began Circulating On Social Media, Prompting Charges Of ‘inciting Hatred And Enmity’

It has been suggested that this move is an attempt by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consolidate support from his religious and conservative base in advance of the upcoming elections 10 months from now.

The comedian, who has previously caused controversy in Islamic circles due to her revealing stage outfits and her unfurling of an LGBTQ flag at a concert, apologized for the offense caused by her joke.

However, she said that those who would seek to exacerbate polarisation in the country were able to capitalize on her comments and exploit her.

In response to questions, she was asked by court authorities, Gulsen denied allegations that she had incited hatred and enmity, and said that she has an “endless respect for the values and sensitivities of my country,” according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

In a tweet, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, called for the release of the singer from jail by Turkey’s judges and prosecutors.

In his words, “Don’t betray the law and justice; free the artist right now!” he advised.

A request by Gulsen to be released from custody pending the outcome of a trial was rejected by the court.

The spokesman for Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development party, known by its Turkish acronym AKP, appeared to defend the decision to arrest the singer by explaining that “inciting hatred is not the purpose of art”.

A spokesman for the ruling AKP party tweeted, “Targeting a segment of society with an allegation of “perversion” and hoping to create polarisation in Turkey is a hate crime and a disgrace to humanity,” he wrote.

It is worth mentioning that Erdogan and many members of his Islam-based ruling party are graduates of religious schools, which were originally established to train imams.

The number of religious schools in Turkey has increased under the leadership of Mr. Erdogan, who has promised to raise a “pious generation” in the country.

In addition to Gulsen’s fans, another well-known Turkish pop star, Tarkan, who is best known for his song Kiss Kiss, also called for Gulsen’s release.

As Tarkan stated in a statement posted on Twitter, “our legal system has arrested Gulsen in one blow, and despite the fact that it turns a blind eye to corruption, thieves, people who break the law, people who destroy nature, people who kill animals, and people who use religion to polarise society through their bigoted ideas.”