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HomeNewsTurkish pop star Gulsen appears in court over religious schools joke

Turkish pop star Gulsen appears in court over religious schools joke

A Turkish pop singer accused of “inciting hatred and enmity” with a joke about Turkey’s spiritual colleges rejected the cost Friday throughout her first court docket look.

Singer-songwriter Gulsen was charged and briefly jailed over the joke she made throughout a live performance in April, when she quipped that the “perversion” of certainly one of her musicians got here from attending a non secular college.

The 46-year-old singer, whose full title is Gulsen Colakoglu, was taken away from her Istanbul house in August after a video from the live performance started circulating on social media, with a hashtag calling for her arrest.

She was jailed for 5 days and later spent 15 days underneath home arrest regardless of having apologized for any offense she prompted spiritual college graduates. She now faces as much as three years in jail if discovered responsible of the incitement cost.

In her testimony Friday, Gulsen mentioned she had teased a band member who was nicknamed “Imam” however had not attended a non secular college.

“It was only a joke between two individuals. It was not an announcement,” Milliyet newspaper quoted the singer as telling the court docket. “I didn’t show an angle that might incite the individuals to hatred and enmity.”

“I didn’t goal a 3rd particular person, a social class or part of society,” she mentioned, requesting an acquittal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and lots of members of his Islam-based ruling get together are graduates of spiritual colleges referred to as Imam Hatip, which have been initially established to coach imams.

A 48-page indictment towards Gulsen had 702 complainants, together with from people, a pro-government girls’s rights group and a non secular college affiliation. A few of them withdrew their complaints on Friday, Milliyet reported.

Turkey’s penal code criminalizes incitement of hatred and enmity towards totally different teams in society primarily based on class, race, faith or sect, requiring a jail sentence in circumstances that result in threats towards public security.

Gulsen beforehand turn out to be a goal in Islamic circles as a consequence of her revealing stage outfits and for unfurling an LGBTQ flag at a live performance.

The court docket on Friday lifted an obligation for her to register at a police station each week however retained a ban on her leaving Turkey. It adjourned the proceedings till Dec. 21.

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