First Published: 2017-12-07

Miss Turkey winner faces 'up to one year jail' for tweet
Itir Esen had her Miss Turkey crown taken away over tweet comparing her menstrual blood with that of 249 people who lost their lives during 2016 failed coup.
Middle East Online

Esen missed chance to represent Turkey at Miss World competition.

ISTANBUL - The winner of Turkey's national beauty pageant, who was forced to hand back her crown over a contentious tweet, is facing up to one year in jail on charges of "publicly denigrating" elements in Turkish society, a report said on Thursday.

Itir Esen, 18, won Miss Turkey 2017 in September but but then had her crown taken away because of what organisers said an "unacceptable tweet" she sent around the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

As a result, she missed the chance to represent Turkey in the Miss World competition in China and prosecutors also opened a criminal probe against her.

In the tweet, she compared the blood shed in her menstrual cycle with that of the 249 people who lost their lives during the failed coup and are now celebrated in Turkey as martyrs.

"I am having my period this morning to celebrate the July 15 martyrs' day. I am celebrating the day by bleeding on behalf of our martyrs' blood," she wrote.

Turkish prosecutors are seeking up to one year jail for Esen on charges of "publicly denigrating some part of society based on their class, race, religion, sect, gender or regional differences," the private Dogan news agency quoted the indictment as saying.

An Istanbul court is due to decide whether to approve the indictment within 15 days, Dogan said.

After the tweet was discovered, Esen's title was handed to Asli Sumen, who came second and who will now represent Turkey in the Miss World contest in China on November 18.

Esen had confirmed she posted the tweet which she said was written "carelessly" but added that it had no political aims.

Critics say the state of freedom of expression is deteriorating in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as thousands have been prosecuted for social media postings deemed to have insulted the Turkish leader since he came to office in 2014.

Prosecutors in 2015 launched an investigation against former Miss Turkey beauty queen Merve Buyuksarac on charges of insulting Erdogan through social media posts.

But her 14-month sentence was suspended on condition that she does not reoffend within the next five years.

 

Regime strikes in Syria enclave despite ceasefire call

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Christian leaders close Church of the Holy Sepulchre in tax dispute

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

Iraq condemns 15 Turkish women to death for belonging to IS

Thousands expected for radical Israeli rabbi's funeral

Syrian Kurd leader arrested in Prague

Philippine officials meet nationals in Kuwait amid labour row

Families of IS suspects in Iraq face 'collective punishment'

Iran's ex-intelligence minister slams handling of prison death

More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea