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Turkish pop star jailed over joke about spiritual colleges

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish pop star Gulsen has been arrested on prices of “inciting hatred and enmity” with a joke she made about Turkey’s spiritual colleges, the nation’s state-run information company reported.

The 46-year-old singer and songwriter, whose full identify is Gulsen Colakoglu, was taken away from her house in Istanbul for questioning and formally arrested late Thursday. She was then taken to a jail pending trial.

The arrest sparked outrage on social media. Authorities critics stated the transfer was an effort by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consolidate assist from his spiritual and conservative forward of elections in 10 months.

The costs had been primarily based on a joke Gulsen made throughout an April live performance in Istanbul, the place she quipped that one in all her musicians’ “perversion” stemmed from attending a non secular college. A video of the singer’s remark started circulating on social media lately, with a hashtag calling for her arrest.

Gulsen — who beforehand turned a goal in Islamic circles resulting from her revealing stage outfits and for unfurling an LGBTQ flag at a live performance — apologized for the offense the joke brought about however stated her feedback had been seized on by these desirous to deepen polarization within the nation.

Throughout her questioning by court docket authorities, Gulsen rejected accusations that she incited hatred and enmity, and stated she had “limitless respect for the values and sensitivities of my nation,” the state-run Anadolu Company reported.

Her request to be launched from custody pending the end result of a trial was rejected.

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Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chief of Turkey’s foremost opposition social gathering, known as on Turkey’s judges and prosecutors to launch Gulsen.

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

The spokesman for Erdogan’s Justice and Growth social gathering, recognized by its Turkish acronym AKP, appeared nevertheless, to defend the choice to arrest the singer, saying “inciting hatred just isn’t an artwork type.”

“Concentrating on a section of society with the allegation of “perversion” and attempting to polarize Turkey is a hate crime and a shame to humanity,” AKP spokesman Omer Celik tweeted.

Erdogan and plenty of members of his Islam-based ruling social gathering are graduates of spiritual colleges, which had been initially established to coach imams. The variety of spiritual colleges in Turkey has elevated below Erdogan, who has promised to boost a “pious era.”

Amongst these calling for Gulsen’s launch was Turkish pop star, Tarkan, greatest recognized internationally for music “Kiss Kiss.”

“Our authorized system, which turns a blind eye to corruption, thieves, those that break the regulation and bloodbath nature, those that kill animals and those that use faith to polarize society by way of their bigoted concepts – has arrested Gulsen in a single whack,” Tarkan stated in an announcement posted on Twitter.

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