Turkish singer, actress Zuhal Olcay sentenced to 10 months in prison for ‘insulting Erdoğan’
A lawsuit was filed against Olcay for “insulting” 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 said a citizen told the police that Olcay had made an insulting hand gesture about 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, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 12, 2017.
Olcay was also 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, it’s all empty, it’s all a lie. Life will end one day and you’ll say ‘I had a dream.’”
In her testimony, Olcay reportedly said she revised the lyrics because the president’s name fit the rhyme scheme and she “did not have any ulterior or insulting motive.”
The singer also said the hand gesture had targeted an audience member in the front row after they had made a negative comment.