Global Independent Analytics

Former beauty queen gets suspended sentence for affronting Erdogan

A Turkish court found 27-year-old model Merve Buyuksarac guilty of insulting a public official

Louisa Loveluck for The Telegraph reports: Turkey sentenced a former beauty queen to 14 months in prison on Tuesday, deepening concerns that the country is swaying toward an increasingly authoritarian form of rule. The model’s lawyer pledged to file an objective at the European Court of Justice.

An Istanbul court found Merve Buyuksarac, 27, guilty of insulting a public official after she shared a poem on her Instagram account in 2014 that was deemed insulting to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s president. The court admitted that in case Ms. Buyuksarac does not reoffend within the next five years, the sentence might be suspended.

The case against Ms. Buyuksarac is one of almost 2,000 defamation suits that have been brought against critics of Mr. Erdogan since he became president in 2014. Human rights advocates assume that the legislation is being used aggressively to silence and intimidate critics. Among those targeted are journalists, academics, and even schoolchildren. Followed by a constant suppression of opposition media and reporters, such oppression has raised alarms over the erosion of rights and freedoms in a country that was once seen as a model of Muslim democracy.

"These insult trials are being initiated in series; they are being filed automatically," model’s lawyer told The Associated Press by telephone after the verdict. "Merve was prosecuted for sharing a posting that did not belong to her. My client has been convicted for words that do not belong to her."

Ms. Buyuksarac, who was awarded Miss Turkey title in 2006, was imprisoned for sharing the poem, which apparently used verses from the Turkish national anthem to criticize Mr. Erdogan. She later deleted the post, apparently on advice from a friend who had warned she may have committed a crime. Although she was one of the thousands of people to share the poem, which, by the way, did not mention him directly, but alluded to a corruption scandal that allegedly involved his family, the administration officials reported that Ms. Buyuksarac’s actions had gone beyond “the limits of criticism”  and amounted to "an attack" on the Turkish leader's personal rights.

In public comments last year, the model pointed out that she had not been responsible for the adaptation. “I shared it because it was funny to me. I did not intend to insult Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” she said.

Ms. Buyuksarac’s sentencing comes almost two decades after Mr. Erdogan himself was jailed over a poem he read at an Islamist rally.

The Turkish leader served four months in prison in 1998, after prosecutors had said it challenged the nation’s secular order. Mr. Erdogan has insisted the poem was “was an attention-getter.”

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

EXPERT OPINION

Miray Aslan

Here is the poem posted  by former Miss Turkey on Instagram named "The Master's Poem" which is an adaptation of the Turkish national anthem:

 

THE BIG MASTER

“I’ve stolen and played for eleven years.

I’m not crazy, don’t be surprised

At the slush fund flood and its careers -

For tender is as tender bribed.

 

I’ve stacked a few billions at home

And my son Bilal will launder them

Meanwhile, Gülen is the monster in Pennsylvania

Who can hypnotize voters with amnesia”.

As you can see, the poem does not mention Erdogan by name. However, it made a reference as  Erdogan is called "the Big Master," among his supporters.  Moreover, it refers to the corruption scandal that allegedly involved his family (Bilal in Bologna).

Ms. Buyuksarac’s actions have gone beyond “the limits of criticism”  and amounted to " attack" on the Turkish leader's personal rights, said Erdogan’s lawyer. However, it is known that Buyuksarac did not write the poem, she just shared it and later, since she was afraid; she deleted it. I wonder. If as a journalist I let readers know that I was the one who wrote “The Master’s Poem,” am I going “beyond the limits of journalism ” now?

Moreover, as mentioned above, there are “2,000 defamation suits that have been brought against critics of Mr. Erdogan since he became president in 2014”.  Most of the accused are journalists and social media users, so I would like to know about the “limits of the Mr. President”:  How much more effort is he going to make to prevent journalism and freedom of speech? Is there anyone left behind outside the prisons to remind the President that "even" presidents have some limits, and they should not go beyond them?

Read more

Related ARTICLES

German MPs recognise Armenian 'genocide' amid Turkish fury

German MPs recognise Armenian 'genocide' amid Turkish fury

The German parliament has approved a resolution declaring that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One was a "genocide".

02 June 2016

Free-travel, terror law disputes threaten EU-Turkey deal

Free-travel, terror law disputes threaten EU-Turkey deal

Free-travel and legal disputes have called an EU-Turkey refugee deal into question for politicians on both sides of the table. If the agreement fails, officials in Ankara threaten to reopen the migrant gates to Europe

11 May 2016

Turkey kills dozens of Isis fighters in a revenge attack

Turkey kills dozens of Isis fighters in a revenge attack

Artillery bombardments said to have been partly in response to rocket attacks on Turkish border town

08 May 2016

POPULAR ARTICLES

Not Found

OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

toTop