Istanbul: A Turkish court ruled on September 12 that singer Gulsen should be released from house arrest.
Gulsen, whose full name is Gulsen Colakoglu, was jailed in August and later placed under house arrest for a joke she made about a band member’s “perversion” because of him having attended a religious Imam Hatip public school.
Gulsen made the comment on stage in April, but the remarks were captured on video and republished by a pro-government daily last month, causing an uproar in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conservative Justice and Development Party.
Critics say that Gulsen’s arrest is a bid by Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, to shore up support in his political base ahead of key elections. Also read: What the Right to Privacy Judgment Means for Art and Artists
Erdogan also went to an Imam Hatip school. The schools were founded by the state to educate young men to be imams and preachers.
Gulsen, one of Turkey’s biggest pop stars, was charged with “inciting hatred and enmity” in August.
She was moved from jail to house arrest four days after being taken into custody.
Gulsen said on social media that she was sorry her comments were being used to stoke further divisions in the sharply polarized country.
Gulsen’s trial is set to begin on October 21, and if found guilty, she could face up to three years in prison.
Gulsen’s arrest has angered liberal and secular communities, pitting them against Erdogan’s Islamist conservative supporters
This article was originally published on DW.