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A Turkish musician, Gulsen had just been detained and charged with incitement to hatred after jokingly making a comment concerning religious schools.
The singer made a mockery of the ‘perversion’ of one of her band members in April by joking that he had been to one.
Although the statements were made years ago, they suddenly gained popularity online and came under fire from conservative groups.
Analysts believe that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the arrest in an effort to increase his credibility in the run-up to the 2018 elections.
Gulsen, regarded as Turkey’s Madonna, apologized on social media prior to being detained and claimed those attempting to “polarize society” had taken advantage of her remarks.
The singer shared on Twitter and Instagram saying that she was “defending freedom of expression” with her “joke between colleagues” she apologized “to everyone who was offended”.
Her detention is awaiting her trial.
President Erdogan attended one of the country’s first Imam Hatip religious schools, which were established by the state to train young men to become imams and speakers. President Erdogan’s AK Party first was elected to power about 20 years ago.
The institutions have also been attended by several other members of government.
The artist, whose real identity is Gulsen Colakoglu, has faced backlash from conservative segments of Turkish society in the past for her appearance and advocacy of LGBT rights.
The country had been divided following the arrest which was executed 46years ago Conservative and government supporters generally referred to her comments as “insolence,” whereas more liberal and dissent supporters criticized her detention as being excessive and retaliatory.
The action coincides with current debates about the AKP’s supposed ‘interventions into lifestyles’ as well as the recent nationwide restrictions on a number of music events.
Numerous people on Twitter slammed Gulsen’s detention, with some drawing comparisons to the lack of legal action taken against a theologian who recently advocated killing people who engage in prayers.
Popular rock band Mor ve Otesi frontman Harun Tekin claimed that a female artist was detained ‘for not dressing and talking as they [the government] imposed.’
Feyza Altun, Gulsen’s attorney, claimed that the arrest was motivated by Gulsen’s stage costume, opinions, ‘defiant attitude,’ and advocacy for LGBT people, claiming that the judgment had ‘no legal grounds.’
While others disagreed with Gulsen’s comments, many felt that her arrest went too far.
‘I’m also a [graduate] of a religious high school,’ Journalist Nihal Bengisu Karaca of the conservative opposition stated
‘I was also hurt by Gulsen’s insult.’
‘I showed my reaction by writing an article… But why is Gulsen being arrested? What’s the aim here?’
Social media users, however, hailed the arrest saying that it has “set a good example of what will happen to those who cross the line”.
‘Calling someone from a school, a football club or an ethnicity a ‘pervert’ is a hate crime,’ stated columnist Fuat Ugur.
‘The clown crossed the line,’ said the headline in the pro-government publication Yeni Safak.
The arrest of the singer seems to have brought excitement to the general public since she advocated for unacceptable beliefs in the society.