World

Model’s Harmless Joke Lands Her In Hot Water With Turkish Court

| by Karen Eisenberg

The former Miss Turkey, Merve Buyuksarac, has been arrested for posting a poem on her social media account. The poem apparently pokes fun at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After being warned by a friend that the content of her posting could be considered offensive and may have legal repercussions, Buyuksarac immediately deleted the poem.

According to the Daily Mail, the poem in question is titled "The Master’s Poem" and makes fun of the Turkish president via lyrics to Turkey’s national anthem. Buyuksarac claims she meant no harm by the post. “I shared it because I found it funny. I had no intention to insult the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” she said. 

Buyuksarac has been released but is expected to face trial later this year. 

The Daily Mail reports that Turkey is 99.8 percent Muslim. The country has very low tolerance for freedom of religious speech, especially when such expression targets officials in power or the Prophet Mohammed.

Turkey recently banned workers from delivering Charlie Hebdo’s magazine if it included a certain section which they believe insults Muslims. Additionally, the Turkish government has barred access to certain news websites that display the most current cover of Charlie Hebdo’s magazine, which mocks the Prophet Mohammed.

Just last month, 16-year-old high school student Mehmet Emin Altunses was accused of insulting Turkey’s leader and arrested. According to NY Daily News, Altunses referred to Erdogan during a public speech as the "thieving owner of the illegal palace.” Altunses was arrested and sent to jail. His arrest caused a public expression of protest and fear that current Turkish President Erdogan will continue to support punishment for any type of freedom of speech.

Sources: The Daily Mail, NY Daily News

Photo: NY Post