Former Miss Turkey Convicted of Insulting Erdogan

A former Miss Turkey was convicted this week of insulting the country’s president and given a 14-month suspended sentence. If Merve Buyuksarac does anything during that time that qualifies as “reoffending,” she’ll be sent to jail. Prosecutors have filed nearly 2,000 defamation cases since Recep Tayyip Erdogan became president in 2014. The previously little-used law that bars insulting him has now become a means of prosecuting those who mock Erdogan. The 27-year-old model won Miss Turkey in 2006, and she was detained for a short period after sharing a satirical poem on Instagram two years ago. The poem used the country’s national anthem to mock and criticize Erdogan in its verses. Buyuksarac said at the time: “I shared it because I found it funny. I had no intention to insult President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”