Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bulent Ersoy Acquitted

I mentioned that beloved transwoman singer Bulent Ersoy was on trial for remarks she made on a TV program critical of the Turkish military.

In Turkey, military service is obligatory for men over the age of 20, and it is a crime to speak against it.

She stated on that fateful February 24 TV broadcast that if she had a son, she would not let him fight in other people’s wars, referring to the increasing number of soldiers killed fighting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.

Thanks to her lawyer, Muhittin Yüzüak, she was acquitted on December 18.

The court ruled that Ersoy be acquitted of charges of trying to turn the public against obligatory military service. The court pointed to freedom of speech as the rationale for the ruling and Presiding Judge Ülker Kirazcı ruled that Ersoy’s remarks were personal thoughts she'd expressed in line with her right to freedom of speech and thought.

She was facing a jail term ranging from nine months to nearly three years had she been convicted of the charges.

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