Turkish pop star Gülşen Çolakoğlu was arrested in Turkey for joking about religious schools

Turkish pop star Gülşen Çolakoğlu was arrested in Turkey for joking about religious schools
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The charges appear to be related to a video circulating on social media from a concert in April in which Gulshe joked with one of the musicians.

He said, “Imam graduated from Hatip (religious schools). This is where his deviant side comes from.”

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, apologized to “everyone who was offended” by the joke and said that it was distorted by “evildoers trying to polarize our country”.

“I joked with my colleagues in business for many years. It was published by people who aim to polarize society,” he said.

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“While standing up for the freedom I believe in, I find myself thrown into the radical end I criticize. I apologize to anyone offended by my speech in the video,” he said.

Anadolu reports that he later said in his testimony that it was an “unfortunate joke” and said that he had a dependent child and that he would come to the court or the police station if necessary and asked to be released.

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.

Controversy in Turkey

Reactions to the arrest came from ordinary Turks, celebrities, and even political parties.

In the posts shared on social networks after his arrest, it was shown that Gulshan’s fans sang his songs for solidarity in a football stadium full of fans.

Award-winning English-Turkish writer Elif Şafak, like other cultural figures, called for Gülsen’s release.

“Deeply saddened by the arrest of artist @gulsen. She has been targeted for her courageous advocacy of women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, secularism, democracy and pluralism. This is a lynching campaign. It is neither legal nor honest. Free immediately. # let Gülsen be released,” he said he tweeted.

The famous Turkish pop star Tarkan also wrote on his Twitter account on Friday, “This injustice against Gulsen should be stopped and Gulsen should be released immediately.”

“Those who prosecute sexual abusers of children, murderers of women, rapists of women without prison, and even those who sometimes release them without a trial, are quick to act when it comes to Gulshan. Our legal system, which ignores corrupt people, steals, violates the law, destroys nature, kills animals, religious bigotry who uses his ideas and polarizes the society, arrests Gülşa in one fell swoop”, he wrote.

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AKP spokesman Ömer Çelik said “inciting hatred is not an art form” AKP members defended the arrest In a Twitter post.

Minister of Treasury and Finance of Turkey Dr. On 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 that targets our young people studying behind it. We have Imam Hatip schools and I consider this unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party assessed the backlash against Gülsen as a fabricated dispute aimed at “putting our youth against each other”.

“The winds of peace have been blowing for a long time between young people with different lifestyles. The goal is to take an anecdote that exceeds the purpose of (imprisonment) and pit our young people against each other. To stay longer. in power and to steal and break more,” – Kamal Kılıçdaroğlu Twitter- also wrote

Presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey are planned to be held at the beginning of next summer.

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