Former 'Miss Turkey' put on probation for insulting Erdogan

A Turkish court sentenced former national beauty contest winner Merve Büyüksaraç to 14 months on probation for "publicly insulting" Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in social media, Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported.

The former "Miss Turkey" 2006 posted on her Instagram a satirical poem that criticized and made fun of Erdogan, the newspaper wrote.

According to the lawyers of the Turkish President, the post as "an attack against the personal rights" of their client.

A court in Istanbul agreed with the arguments of Erdogan's attorneys and sentenced the young woman to 14 months probation. Her lawyer, Ali Deniz Ceylan, expressed his disagreement with the court's decision.

"As the lawsuit was filed by the head of the state, it is unjustified to examine the case purely as violation of criticism boundaries. We believe that the post published by our client, must be regarded as a political one, and therefore we demand to acquit our client," Ceylan told local media.

In 2014, the former beauty contest winner shared another link on the Internet which was a parody of the Turkish national anthem, later published in the satirical magazine Uykusuz.

According to the latest data, there are currently about 1845 citizens subject to investigation on charges of insulting Erdogan. If found guilty, the suspects might face a fine or up to four years in prison.

The Turkish political opposition has repeatedly slammed Turkish authorities over persecuting those who disagree with the policy of the current President.

In April, the "sensibility" of Turkish President even caused an international scandal when he forced German authorities to start an investigation into the case of German satirist Jan Böhmermann who read an insulting poem about Erdogan during a TV broadcast.