Turkish court lifts international travel ban on pop star Gülşen

A Turkish court has lifted the international travel ban imposed on singer Gülşen who is on trial for a joke about Islamic Imam Hatip schools.

Duvar English

An Istanbul court on Oct. 26 lifted the international travel ban imposed on pop star Gülşen who is facing charges of “inciting hatred and hostility among the public” over her comments about Islamic Imam Hatip schools.

Gülşen was jailed pending trial on Aug. 25 on a charge of incitement to hatred, after a video of her comments from four months ago surfaced on a website of a pro-government newspaper Sabah.

In the video of her performance in April, Gülşen refers to a musician in her band and says in a light-hearted manner: "He studied at an Imam Hatip (school) previously. That's where his perversion comes from."

Thousands took to social media in support, saying she was targeted for her support for LGBT+ rights and liberal views that go against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP). Several ministers condemned her comments on Twitter.

Upon public uproar, the singer was released from jail and placed under house arrest on Aug. 29. The indictment by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office is demanding up to three years in jail for the singer.

The court previously decided to lift the order requiring Gülşen to give her signature at the nearest police station on a weekly basis.