The lawyer for a model and former Miss Turkey has said his client could face up to two years in prison for posts on social media that prosecutors have deemed to be critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Emre Telci said on Wednesday an İstanbul prosecutor is demanding that Merve Büyüksaraç be prosecuted on charges of insulting a public official. A court will decide whether to start proceedings.
Büyüksaraç was detained last month for sharing a satirical poem on her Instagram account. She denies having insulted Erdoğan. She has become the latest figure to face trial for insulting Erdoğan, amid fears the country is lurching toward authoritarian rule.
Büyüksaraç delivered a public statement on Wednesday saying that she has not received a notice from a court. According to the model: “Plenty of news reports have been published about me [being prosecuted for insulting Erdoğan], but I have not received a service of summons yet. When I receive it, my lawyer and I will make the necessary statement.”
Büyüksaraç added that the satirical poem for which she is accused of insulting the president does not include insults and that thousands of people shared it on social media.