Skip to main content

Turkish pop star jailed over joke placed under house arrest

Turkish pop singer Gulsen is under house arrest after spending the weekend behind bars for a four-month-old quip about religious school alumni. 
DEPO PHOTOS/AFP via Getty Images

Amid international concerns and national protests, a Turkish court released pop singer Gulsen from jail Monday but placed her under house arrest as she awaits trial on charges of “inciting hatred and enmity.”

The 46-year-old Gulsen Bayraktar Colakoglu, known on stage by her first name, was put behind bars Aug. 26, after an Istanbul prosecutor opened an investigation into a quip she made on stage four months ago. “He has studied in an Imam Hatip. … That is the root of his perversity,” Gulsen said, referring to religious secondary schools in an apparent jest to a member of her band, as both the band member and members of the audience clapped and laughed. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.