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RIGHTS >Turkish model questioned for ‘insulting Erdoğan’ with satirical poem

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Merve Büyüksaraç

Merve Büyüksaraç

A Turkish model has been questioned by a prosecutor for allegedly “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on her Instagram account, after she shared a satirical poem published in a popular magazine.

Merve Büyüksaraç, an industrial designer and writer who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006, went to testify at the courthouse in Istanbul’s Çağlayan neighborhood on Jan. 14. 

Büyüksaraç told the prosecutor that she "may have quoted a poem” from the weekly humour magazine Uykusuz, but deleted it soon afterward when one of her friends warned that such messages could bring about criminal procedures in Turkey. 

“I shared it because I found it funny. I had no intention to insult then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Büyüksaraç added, according to the Cihan news agency.

“The Master’s Poem,” shared by Büyüksaraç, satirically criticized Erdoğan through verses adapted from the lyrics of Turkey’s national anthem.

Press Crimes Prosecutor Vedat Yiğit demanded “judicial control” for Büyüksaraç, which obliges a suspect to regularly go to a police center to sign in, but the court ruled to release Büyüksaraç unconditionally, pending trial.

January/14/2015

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