In Turkey, Pop Singer arrested for Offending Clerics

By Arzu Geybullayeva

Police in Turkey have arrested pop singer Gülşen (full name Gülşen Colakoglu), 46, pending trial, over a comment she made about religious schools, months ago during one of her concert. Last April, Gülşen, joked about one of her colleagues’ Imam Hatip past during a concert in Istanbul. Imam Hatip high schools are Islamic religious education institutions originally established to train imams but which have become more popular under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The singer’s arrest on August 25 prompted fans and rights activists to accuse the state of having a disproportionate justice system that often lets perpetrators of violence against women walk free while quickly arresting Gülşen over a comment not meant to harm anyone. Others alluded to Turkey turning more conservative….