A former Miss Turkey has been arrested for posting a satirical poem to social media that criticizes her country’s president.
Merve Buyuksarac, 26, looked extremely nervous when she appeared in court surrounded by armed police. She admitted to prosecutors that she “may have quoted a poem” from weekly humor magazine Uykusuz. She added that she quickly deleted the post after a friend told her that she could be arrested for it.
“I shared it because I found it funny. I had no intention to insult the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Buyuksarac said.
The poem the beauty queen quoted is called The Master’s Poem, and it criticizes Erdogan by switching around words in the National Anthem.
Buyuksarac is a young professional who works as an industrial designer and writer in Istanbul. This case is another example of the Turkish government cracking down on their people following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks. The country has intensely debated freedom of expression following the attacks on a satirical newspaper.
It’s stories like this that remind us how lucky we are to live in a country like America, where we are free to criticize whomever we want.