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Prosecutors seek prison term for ex-Miss Turkey

Turkish prosecutors are seeking to sentence Itir Esen to a one year prison term [AP]

Date of publication: 7 December, 2017

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Itir Essen caused an uproar after comparing "the blood of martyrs" who fought against last year's attempted coup attempt in Turkey to her period.
Turkish prosecutors are seeking a maximum one year prison term for a former beauty queen who was stripped of her crown over a social media posting deemed to be "insulting" to the victims of last year's failed coup, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.

Prosecutors in Istanbul have charged 18-year-old Itir Esen with "overtly insulting a section of the public" for a remark she posted on Twitter as the country held memorials on the anniversary of the July 15 2016 coup attempt, the agency reported.

Esen was stripped of her Miss Turkey 2017 title a day after the competition in September when the tweet came to light. The model and university student denies any intent to insult.

Turkish media reported that the tweet, which has since been erased, said: "I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs' day. I'm marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs' blood."

The posting caused uproar on social media. At the time, organisers said they had seen the tweet after the beauty contest's results were announced and had to hold an hours-long meeting to verify the post.

A court must accept the indictment before a trial date is set.

Runner-up Asli Sumen was given the title and represented Turkey at the Miss World competition in China.

On July 15 2016, a group of Turkish soldiers using tanks, warplanes and helicopters launched a plot to overthrow Turkey's president and government. Some 250 people were killed resisting the coup. At least 34 coup plotters also died.

More than 50,000 were arrested and 100,000 dismissed in a crackdown afterwards.

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