Turkish pop star jailed over joke about religious schools

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish pop star Gulsen has been arrested on costs of “inciting hatred and enmity” around a joke she designed about Turkey’s religious universities, the country’s condition-operate news agency claimed.

The 46-calendar year-previous singer and songwriter, whose full title is Gulsen Colakoglu, was taken away for questioning from her residence in Istanbul and was formally arrested late on Thursday before becoming taken to a prison pending her trial.

The arrest sparked outrage on social media. Govt critics claimed the shift was an effort by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consolidate his spiritual and conservative aid foundation forward of elections in 10 months’ time.

The expenses have been dependent on a joke Gulsen built throughout a concert in Istanbul back in April when she quipped that 1 of her musicians’ “perversion” stemmed from the point that he went to a spiritual university. A movie of the singer making the reviews commenced circulating on social media not too long ago, with a hashtag calling for her arrest.

Gulsen — who experienced by now been the focus on of Islamic circles for her revealing stage outfits — issued an apology for the offense prompted but explained her responses have been seized on by these wanting to deepen polarization in the place.

During her questioning, Gulsen rejected accusations that she incited hatred and enmity, telling courtroom authorities that she had “endless regard for the values and sensitivities of my nation,” the condition-operate Anadolu Agency documented.

A ask for that she be released from custody pending the final result of a trial was rejected.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey’s principal opposition get together termed on Turkey’s judges and prosecutors to launch Gulsen.

“Don’t betray the regulation and justice release the artist now!” he wrote on Twitter.

The spokesman for Erdogan ruling bash, Omer Celik, appeared nevertheless, to protect the choice to arrest the singer, expressing “inciting hatred is not an art sort.”

“Targeting a phase of modern society with the allegation of “perversion” and trying to polarize Turkey is a loathe crime and a disgrace to humanity,” Celik tweeted.

Erdogan and a lot of associates of his Islam-based ruling bash are graduates of spiritual universities, which had been initially proven to teach imams. The range of spiritual educational institutions has greater below Erdogan, who has promised to increase a “pious era.”

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