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Court rules to keep woman in prison who insulted Atatürk

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A Turkish court on Thursday ruled for a continuation of the imprisonment of a woman who was arrested for allegedly insulting Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, at his mausoleum in July.

The woman, Safiye İnci, attended a hearing at the Ankara 28th Penal Court of First Instance on Thursday where she requested her release.

When asked by judge Pınar Ergut whether she remembers the remarks she made about Atatürk, İnci said: “I did not mean to insult. It happened all of a sudden. I don’t exactly remember what I said there.”

She also said she regrets making those remarks.

In a video İnci sent to her friend that was later posted on social media in July, İnci says: “I am very embarrassed for having come here [to Atatürk’s mausoleum]. I wish I had not come. I am here because people insisted. I do not love Atatürk. It was not Atatürk who saved Turkey.”

In the video İnci also compares Atatürk with current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and says, “Atatürk cannot even be the sh*t of Erdoğan.”

The woman’s video caused a storm of public outrage after her friend posted it on social media.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into İnci as a result of which she was put in pre-trial detention.

On Thursday the Ankara court rejected the woman’s request for release and ruled to keep her in pre-trial detention.

An article in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) protects Atatürk’s memory, stipulating one to three years in prison for explicit insults of him.

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