Renowned Turkish singer Zuhal Olcay has been handed down a prison sentence of 10 months by a Turkish court on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Olcay was tried on charges that she insulted the president while singing at an entertainment venue in İstanbul’s Kadıköy district in August 2016. She was facing a jail sentence of up to four years, eight months.
An investigation was launched into the singer after some people from the audience called the police claiming that Olcay had insulted Erdoğan while on stage.
The singer’s trial was held at the Anatolia 46th Penal Court of First Instance during which she denied the insult charges.
Hundreds of people in Turkey including high school students face charges of insulting President Erdoğan. Even the slightest criticism is considered insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.