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Turkish pop star imprisoned for joking about religious schools

Turkish pop star imprisoned for joking about religious schools

Turkish singer Gulesen, 46, was arrested last Thursday in Istanbul, following a joke about Islamic schools.

Turkish singer Guelsen, 46, was arrested at her home last Thursday and taken for questioning. Later that day, she was officially arrested and taken to a prison awaiting trial.

The charges came after Goulsen ridiculed Imam Hatip schools during a concert in April. She knows the “deviant attitude” of one of her musicians, for example, by training him in one of those schools. The subject is sensitive because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invested a lot in this type of education.


Since last week, the joke pictures have been circulating all over social media. Goulsen made the following statement: “A joke I told my colleagues with whom I worked for years was abused by some people aiming to polarize our country.” Despite this, the singer-songwriter apologized to those who were offended. She also emphasized that she would always defend freedom of expression.

Online and beyond, the problem is causing a lot of uproar. Critics believe Erdogan is abusing the joke to appeal to the strong Islamist core of his supporters, with the goal of next year’s elections. The popularity of Erdogan’s conservative party, the Justice and Development Party, has been declining for some time. Conservative party advocates are taking to social media to express themselves “with the satisfaction of having a role model”. The pro-government Yeni ┼×afak newspaper also wrote the headline, “The clown has gone too far.”