Ousted Miss Turkey faces ‘up to one year jail’ over tweet

Itir Esen won Miss Turkey 2017 in September but then had her crown taken away because of what organizers said an “unacceptable tweet” she sent around the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. (AP)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Ousted Miss Turkey faces ‘up to one year jail’ over tweet

ISTANBUL: The winner of Turkey’s national beauty pageant, who was forced to hand back her crown over a contentious tweet, is facing up to one year in jail on charges of “publicly denigrating” elements in Turkish society, a report said on Thursday.
Itir Esen, 18, won Miss Turkey 2017 in September but then had her crown taken away because of what organizers said an “unacceptable tweet” she sent around the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
As a result, she missed the chance to represent Turkey in the Miss World competition in China and prosecutors also opened a criminal probe against her.
In the tweet, she compared the blood shed in her menstrual cycle with that of the 249 people who lost their lives during the failed coup and are now celebrated in Turkey as martyrs.
“I am having my period this morning to celebrate the July 15 martyrs’ day. I am celebrating the day by bleeding on behalf of our martyrs’ blood,” she wrote.
Turkish prosecutors are seeking up to one year jail for Esen on charges of “publicly denigrating some part of society based on their class, race, religion, sect, gender or regional differences,” the private Dogan news agency quoted the indictment as saying.
An Istanbul court is due to decide whether to approve the indictment within 15 days, Dogan said.
After the tweet was discovered, Esen’s title was handed to Asli Sumen, who came second and who will now represent Turkey in the Miss World contest in China on November 18.
Esen had confirmed she posted the tweet, which she said was written “carelessly” but added that it had no political aims.
Critics say the state of freedom of expression is deteriorating in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as thousands have been prosecuted for social media postings deemed to have insulted the Turkish leader since he came to office in 2014.
Prosecutors in 2015 launched an investigation against former Miss Turkey beauty queen Merve Buyuksarac on charges of insulting Erdogan through social media posts.
But her 14-month sentence was suspended on condition that she does not reoffend within the next five years.


Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

Updated 15 November 2018
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Bollywood stars Padukone, Singh wed in Italy

  • The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday
  • The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media

MUMBAI: Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have tied the knot in Italy, Indian media reported Thursday.
The celebrity couple got married in a private ceremony at Lake Como on Wednesday, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
The pair have yet to comment or release pictures from the event which was closed to the media.
Padukone is arguably Indian cinema’s biggest female star currently, and she has also broken into Hollywood, starring in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” opposite Vin Diesel.
Padukone, 32, and Singh 33, announced in a joint statement last month that their wedding would take place on November 14 and 15.
The couple reportedly started dating in 2013 but have kept details of their relationship largely out of the public eye.
Hindi film director Karan Johar, a friend of the couple, tweeted his congratulations.
“Such a stunning gorgeous and beautiful couple!!!! Nazar utar lo! (Keep the evil eye away) !! Badhai ho (Congratulations) !!! Love you both!!! Here’s to a lifetime of love and joy!” he wrote on Wednesday.
The newlyweds have shared the silver screen together, including a controversial Bollywood epic earlier this year that sparked violent protests in northern India.
Padukone played a legendary Hindu queen and Singh a medieval Muslim ruler in the flick, which angered hard-liners, some of whom burned down film sets and made threats toward the two stars.
Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas are due to get married in India early next month.