An Istanbul court on Oct. 21 rejected the acquittal plea filed by famous pop star Gülşen who is facing charges of “inciting hatred and hostility among the public” over her comments about Islamic Imam Hatip schools.
The court ruled to lift the previous order, requiring her to give her signature at the nearest police station on a weekly basis. On the other hand the court ruled to continue the international travel ban of the Turkish pop star.
"I was verbally lynched and abused many times as a woman, a wife, a mother, and because of my clothing. As for the financial part, 50 of my concerts have been cancelled during this process. I see all this as a punishment for my existence as Gülşen," pop star said during the hearing.
The court decided that Gülşen should be exempted from the hearings. The next hearing will be held on Dec. 21.
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.