Going to Prison Over a Meme? See What Happens in Turkey

Going to Prison Over a Meme? See What Happens in Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, is the type of guy who doesn’t take criticism very well, nor does he have a good sense of humor. He even tried to ban Twitter because it was being rude to him. Yes, that’s how sensitive this guy is.

Now this man’s freedom hangs by a thread because of a completely controversial question, Is it a bad thing that Erdogan looks like Gollum?

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A Turkish doctor by the name of Bilgin Çiftçi pointed out that Erdogan looks a lot like Gollum from Lord of the Rings by posting these memes on his Facebook wall.

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Well, it’s nothing serious. For the majority, it’s just a harmless joke—but not for the Turkish politician.

Erdogan vigorously prosecutes those who insult or make fun of him through the memes. It makes sense, though, because in Turkey, causing shame or insulting the president is literally a crime. As a result, Çiftçi has been brought up on charges, and he was also fired from his job.

Çiftçi then argued that it wasn’t an insult and that it was actually a compliment that Erdogan looked like Gollum because Gollum is one of the main characters of the film.

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You’d probably think that the court would just laugh what Çiftçi said and let him go, but here comes the twist: the court doesn’t buy Çiftçi’s defense and instead, they have chosen five Lord of the Rings experts to ascertain whether the argument is valid or not.

The panel consists of a film professor, two psychologists, and two academics. They are tasked to come up with a decision on whether a meme is enough for a man to go to prison for two years.

The film’s director, Peter Jackson, has pledged to defend the Turkish physician.

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This makes you want to thank America for not having the kind of law that Turkey has. The system may not be perfect, but at least, you won’t have to worry about making jokes about the president and getting arrested. That certainly counts for something.




Watch a video where Peter Jackson teases Doctor Who fans with director spoof.

Go ahead and click the links below for more stories:

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20 Hilarious Memes Only a History Buff Will Understand