Turkey: Pop star arrested over remarks on stage

Turkey: Pop star arrested over remarks on stage
Update: 26 August 2022 14:34
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After Gulsen Colakoglu has stated in court that she has a child in need and requested not to be remanded in custody, she has been arrested to be sent to a women's prison.

Turkish pop singer Gulsen Colakoglu was arrested on Thursday evening over remarks she had made during a concert months earlier.

Colakoglu reportedly said in her recent statement to the judge, "I have a child who needs me. I did not commit an offense. I can come to testify whenever I am called. I request not to be remanded in custody."

Colakoglu was charged by the prosecution for "inciting the people into hatred and animosity" over her remarks about Turkish religious schools (imam-hatip schools).

She was heard saying on the stage in a video recorded during a concert, "He had studied at a imam-hatip school. This is where his perversion comes from."

While she does not say the name of the person in the video, the person is reportedly a member of the band, and she intended the remarks as a joke.

As she was summoned on Thursday by the prosecutor's office to testify in court, she expressed her apology on her Twitter account, saying:

"I am sorry that my remarks provided an excuse for vicious people who try to further polarize our country. I'm now aware that I myself have taken the kind of radical step that I'm critical of, while I was defending the liberties I believe in. I apologize to everyone who is upset and offended by my remarks. I should have used a different language, and I will."

Colakoglu will be taken to a women's prison in Istanbul, according to reports.

The hashtag "Gulsen" has quickly become the second hottest trending topic on Twitter in Turkey with over 430,000 tweets. Gulsen has 1.6 million followers.