Imprisoned for a joke: Turkish pop singer Gülsen is said to be under house arrest

Turkish singer Gülsen, who was imprisoned for joking about a religious educational institution, is to be released from prison.

Imprisoned for a joke: Turkish pop singer Gülsen is said to be under house arrest

Turkish singer Gülsen, who was imprisoned for joking about a religious educational institution, is to be released from prison. An Istanbul court decided on Monday to place the pop star under house arrest instead, the state news agency Anadolu reported.

Her lawyer had previously lodged an objection to the pre-trial detention. The action against the popular singer had not only caused great outrage among artists in the country.

Gülsen Bayraktar Colakoglu, as her full name is, was arrested last Thursday for jokingly saying at a concert in April that a colleague's "perversity" was due to his time at an Imam Hatip school. Gülsen is accused of public incitement to hatred.

The Imam Hatip Schools are state educational institutions that focus on religious education. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a student of such a school. Due to the increasing number of religious schools, critics of the AKP government accuse the Islamization of secular Turkey.

Erdogan said on Monday evening that those who offended national values, for example, could not escape punishment. He did not explicitly mention the singer's name.

Numerous artists, opposition politicians, queer networks and other associations had called for Gülsen's release and criticized the imprisonment as illegal - including the famous singer Tarkan. Individual members of the ruling party had also condemned the pre-trial detention. Gülsen is known for her public solidarity with LGBT people and has been criticized for this several times from religious and pro-government circles.

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