Singer Gülşen was arrested on 25 August in relation to a joke she made in April about religious schools. She was released to house arrest on 29 August.
This statement was originally published on bianet.org on 2 September 2022.
The singer is currently under house arrest because of a joke she made about Türkiye’s religious vocational schools.
The indictment against pop singer Gülşen for “provoking the public into hatred and hostility” has been completed.
The prosecutor seeks from one to three years in prison for the famous singer, who was arrested August 25 because of a joke about Türkiye’s religious vocational schools.
The court released Gülşen to house arrest after four days in jail, but rejected an appeal for the lifting of the house arrest.
The prosecutor’s office sent the indictment to the İstanbul 11th Penal Court of First Instance. There were 702 plaintiffs in the indictment.
• On August 25, pro-government media outlets and social media accounts began to circulate a video excerpt from an April 30 concert of Gülşen, where she joked about a colleague, saying he was “a pervert because he is an imam-hatip graduate.”
• The imam-hatip schools are religious schools training Muslim clerics and preachers. Many senior government officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are imam-hatip graduates.
• Senior government officials condemned Gülşen over her remarks.
• Prosecutors quickly opened an investigation, with the singer being detained and brought to the courthouse. A judgeship ordered her arrest for “provoking the people into hatred and hostility.”
• In her testimony, she said it was an “unfortunate joke” and demanded her release. The court ruled for her arrest.
• On August 29, Gülşen was released to house arrest.
• Gülşen has long been targeted by pro-government circles because of her support for LGBTI+ rights and stage costumes.