Lawsuit filed against Turkish singer Zuhal Olcay for ‘insulting president’
A lawsuit has been filed against singer Zuhal Olcay for “insulting” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a concert last year, with the prosecutor seeking a four-year prison sentence for the singer.
The indictment prepared by the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office stated that a person told the police that Olcay had made an insulting hand gesture against Erdoğan during a concert in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul on Aug. 5, 2016. An investigation was subsequently launched and footage from the concert was examined by an expert, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 12..
Olcay is accused of revising lyrics to the song “Boş Vermişim Dünyayı” (I Let Go of the World) to criticize Erdoğan, devising a hand-gesture to accompany the melody. According to the footage, the revised lyrics say: “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, all of them are null and lies, this life will end one day and you will say I had a dream.”
In her testimony Olcay reportedly said she revised the lyrics because the president’s name fitted the rhyme scheme and she “did not have any other ulterior, insulting motive.”
The singer also said the hand gesture targeted an audience member in the front row after he or she made a negative comment about her.
The prosecutor’s office has demanded a jail term for Olcay ranging from one year and two months to four years and eight months on charges of “insulting the president.”
The indictment has been approved by the 46th Criminal Court of Peace and the singer will soon face a trial on the charges.