Former Miss Turkey Gets 14-Month Prison Sentence For Insulting President Erdogan

Former Miss Turkey, Merve Buyuksarac and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Former Miss Turkey, Merve Buyuksarac and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

A former Miss Turkey has been handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan through a poem she shared on social media. She is the latest of at least a dozen Turks to face such a sentence.

An Istanbul court found model Merve Buyuksarac, 27, guilty of insulting a public official but suspended the sentence on condition she does not repeat the act for the next five years, local media said on Tuesday.

Buyuksarac, who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006, was briefly detained last year for sharing the poem on Instagram in 2014. It was called “the Master’s Poem” and referred to a high-level Turkish corruption scandal in 2014.

Her lawyer, Emre Telci, said he would file a formal objection to the verdict and appeal her case at the Strasbourg, France-based European Court of Justice.

“These insult trials are being initiated in series, they are being filed automatically,” Telci told The Associated Press news agency by telephone after the verdict.

“Merve was prosecuted for sharing a posting that did not belong to her. My client has been convicted for words that do not belong to her.”

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