Prosecutors seek three-year jail term for Gülşen

Prosecutors seek three-year jail term for Gülşen

Prosecutors seek three-year jail term for Gülşen

Prosecutors have sought a three-year jail sentence for famous pop singer Gülşen Bayraktar Çolakoğlu on charges of “inciting hatred” with the remarks she made about the “İmam Hatip” religious schools.

The 48-page indictment has 702 complainants, including from individuals, a pro-government women’s rights organization and an association from the religious school.

If the criminal court of the first instance does not find the evaluations in the indictment lawful, a new indictment will be demanded.

Gülşen, the 46-year-old singer famous with her first name on stage, was detained at home in Istanbul and taken to court on Aug. 25 over a comment she made about religious schools in a video that has set social media abuzz.

A judge then sent her to jail pending an investigation into the remarks she made on stage in April that “İmam Hatip” religious schools are raising children to be Muslim preachers.

In her testimony at the police station before being jailed, Gülşen stated that the clip showing her making the comments was a misunderstanding as it was shot while she was joking with her colleague. “This was not a speech I made to participants of the concert or the media,” she said.

This clip was shared months later for provocative purposes, according to Gülşen.

She also issued an apology on social media before her arrest after the clip went viral and created outrage among senior politicians this week.

“A joke I shared with my colleagues with whom I have worked for many years... was featured and published by those who aim to polarise society,” she said.

A challenge was filed by Gülşen’s lawyer, Emek Emre, against the formal arrest, saying that she was arrested with an unjust and unlawful decision as the elements of the crime charged against her were irrelevant and did not fulfill the conditions for her arrest.

After evaluating the challenge, the high court ruled the release of the singer but put her under house arrest.

The court later rejected an appeal by Emre for lifting her house arrest.