A Turkish pop singer accused of “inciting hatred and enmity” with a joke about Turkey’s religious schools rejected the cost Friday throughout her first court docket appearance.
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 one in all her musicians got here from attending a religious college.
The 46-year-old singer, whose full title is Gulsen Colakoglu, was taken away from her Istanbul residence 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 below home arrest regardless of having apologized for any offense she induced religious college graduates. She now faces as much as three years in jail if discovered responsible of the incitement cost.
In her testimony Friday, Gulsen stated she had teased a band member who was nicknamed “Imam” however had not attended a religious 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 perspective that may incite the individuals to hatred and enmity.”
“I didn’t goal a 3rd individual, a social class or part of society,” she stated, requesting an acquittal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and lots of members of his Islam-based ruling celebration are graduates of religious schools known as Imam Hatip, which had 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 religious college affiliation. Some of them withdrew their complaints on Friday, Milliyet reported.
Turkey’s penal code criminalizes incitement of hatred and enmity towards completely different teams in society primarily based on class, race, faith or sect, requiring a jail sentence in instances that result in threats towards public security.
Gulsen beforehand develop into a goal in Islamic circles on account 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.