- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac was reportedly arrested after quoting a satirical poem online that criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ms. Buyuksarac, the 26-year-old model who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006, admitted in an Istanbul court that she “may have quoted a poem” in humor magazine Uykusuz, the New York Post reported.

Her arrest comes as the Turkish government cracks down on social media following the Paris terror attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Ms. Buyuksarac said she quickly deleted the post when a friend warned that such comments could get her in trouble.

“I shared it because I found it funny. I had no intention to insult [Mr. Erdogan],” she said.

Prosecutor Vedat Yigit demanded “judicial control” over Ms. Buyuksarac before her next hearing, which would require her to regularly check in with police, but the judge ruled to release her from custody pending a trial, the Post reported.

Turkey is officially secular, but 99.8 percent of the population is registered Muslim and there has been heavy debates over free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Turkey last week blocked access to some websites that republished the cover of the French magazine’s latest issue, which portrayed the Prophet Muhammad, the Post reported.

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