Turkish Pop star Gülşen Çolakoğlu was arrested in Turkey on charges of “inciting or insulting public hatred and enmity” after joking about religious schools.
These cartoons appear to be related to a video from Gulshe’s concert in April, where she joked with one of the musicians, which was circulated on social networks.
“Imam Hatip graduated from (religious schools). This is where his perverted side comes from,” he said.
Several Twitter users could be seen sharing the video on Thursday with a hashtag calling for his arrest and saying it was offensive to associate schools with perverts.
According to his lawyer Emek Emre, Gulshan denies having committed any crime and is appealing against the arrest.
After being detained, Gulshan shared a message on his official Twitter and Instagram accounts, apologizing to “everyone who was offended” by the joke and saying that it was distorted by “evildoers trying to polarize our country.”
“I joked with my colleagues with whom I worked in the business for many years. It was published by people trying to polarize society,” he said.
“While defending the freedom I believe in, I find myself thrown towards the radical end I criticize. “I apologize to anyone who was offended by my performance in the video,” he said.
He later stated in his statement that it was an “unfortunate joke” and asked to be released, saying that he had a dependent child and that he would come to court or the police station if necessary.
Gülşen has previously been targeted by conservative groups in Turkey for her revealing outfits and support for the LGBTQ community.
The Muslim-majority country is officially secular, but is highly polarized on issues related to secularism, religion, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights.
In the twenty years when the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) was in power, Imam Hatip schools, which teach religious sciences in addition to the Turkish curriculum, have grown. The schools are known for training young people to become imams or khatibs. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many AKP party members also attended the school.
Reactions to the arrest came from ordinary Turks, celebrities, and even political parties.
After his arrest, the posts shared on social networks show that Gulshan’s fans gathered at the football stadium and sang his songs in solidarity.
Award-winning English-Turkish writer Elif Şafak, like other cultural figures, called for Gülsen’s release.
“I am very sorry for the arrest of artist @gulsen. She has been targeted for her bold advocacy of women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, secularism, democracy and pluralism. This is a lynching campaign. This is neither legal nor honest. Free at once. Let #gulsenserbest be left,” he said he tweeted.
The famous Turkish pop star Tarkan also wrote on his Twitter account on Friday, “This injustice against Gulshan must be stopped and Gulshan must be released immediately.”
“When it comes to Gulshen, those who judge those who sexually abuse children, kill women, rape women without arrest, and sometimes even release them without trial, are quick to act. “Our legal system arrests Gülşa in one fell swoop, who is corrupt, steals, violates the law, cuts nature, kills animals, uses religion as a tool for his bigoted ideas, and polarizes the society,” he wrote.
AKP members defended the arrest, and AKP spokesman Ömer Çelik said “inciting hatred is not an art form”. In a Twitter post.
Minister of Treasury and Finance of Turkey Dr. In Nurettin Nebati’s Twitter account, “Our Imam Hatip High Schools are our elite institutions that are equipped with our national and moral values and educate generations with moral maturity. I strongly condemn this perverted language and the perverted mentality behind it, which targets our young people studying in our Imam Hatip Schools, and I consider it unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party assessed the reaction against Gülsen as a fabricated dispute aimed at “putting our youth against each other”.
“For a long time, the winds of peace have been blowing between young people with different lifestyles. The purpose is to take an anecdote that has outlived its purpose (in prison) and pit our young people against each other. This means staying in power, stealing and breaking more,” Kamal Kılıçdaroğlu wrote on Twitter.
Presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey are planned to be held at the beginning of next summer.
Leave a Comment