Gulsen, a Turkish pop star, was arrested after making a joke about religious schools.
The arrest of a Turkish pop star over a remark she made about religious schools has sparked outrage among critics of the government, who see it as bent on punishing those who disagree with its conservative views.
Gulsen, a pop singer, was jailed pending trial on a charge of incitement to hatred on Thursday after a video of a remark she made on stage in April was broadcast by a pro-government media outlet.
“He previously attended an Imam Hatip (school).” “That’s where his perversion comes from,” Gulsen jokes in the video, referring to a musician in her band.
President Tayyip Erdogan, whose Islamist-rooted AK Party first came to power in Turkey some 20 years ago, attended one of the country’s first Imam Hatip schools, which were established by the state to educate young men to be imams and preachers.
Gulsen had previously drawn criticism for “actions she displayed on stage, extremely low cut dresses, and holding up an LGBT flag,” according to Sabah, a pro-government newspaper, which published the video on Wednesday.
On Twitter, several ministers reacted to Gulsen’s remarks, with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag condemning “primitive” remarks and a “antiquated mentality.”
“The greatest disrespect to art is inciting one part of society against another using begrudging, hateful, and discriminatory language under the guise of being an artist,” he wrote.
Gulsen apologised to anyone who was offended by her remarks on Thursday, saying they were used to polarise society.
Emek Emre, a lawyer for singer Gulsen, told Reuters that her legal team had filed a challenge to the formal arrest decision on Friday, claiming that the process of her detention had been illegal and irregular from the start.
“We expect everything to be done in accordance with the law.” “I hope and expect that this (arrest) decision will be reversed,” he said.
Thousands of people took to social media to express their support for Gulsen, claiming she was targeted because of her liberal views and support for LGBT+ rights.
“I believe she is being detained because she is a figure representing secular Turkey and an artist who is sensitive to supporting the LGBTI movement,” said Veysel Ok, a lawyer and co-director of the Media and Law Studies Association.