Turkish actress investigated over 'record rapes in Medina' tweet

Prosecutors launched an investigation into a prominent actress, Berna Laçin, on charges of denigrating religious values over a tweet where she argued against the death penalty by pointing to the allegedly high number of rapes in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina
Wednesday, 04 July 2018 20:27

Turkish prosecutors launched an investigation on July 4 into a Turkish actress who opposed the death penalty by tweeting about the “record number of rape incidents” in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina.

In the tweet, actress Berna Laçin strongly argued against reintroducing the death penalty in Turkey after a recent spate of sexual abuse crimes against children prompted calls for it to come back.

"If the death penalty was a solution, then the lands of Medina would not break records in the number of rape incidents," she said in a tweet.

The chief prosecutor's office in İstanbul said the probe had been launched after the tweet on Medina, which is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca, on accusations of "denigrating people's religious values."

Laçin later defended herself, saying that she did not make any statement on Islam. 

"I was talking about the current social order of Medina. When I say Medina, why do you not think of the [Saudi] Arabian city instead of thinking of holiness? Calm down," she said on her social media accounts.

"Would I be insulting Christians if I said something negative about Sweden?" she asked, adding that she was intentionally targeted by social media trolls to promote their pro-death penalty campaign.

As the Turkish government tries to cover the problem by 'increasing the penalties', the rate of sexual crimes, sexual assaults, harassments and child sexual abuses has extremely increased during the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP party since the year of 2002.