Turkish influencer Pinar Yildirim was sentenced to five months in jail for ‘insulting men’. Yes, you read that right! And, I’m sure we are all thinking the same thing. As if that was a real crime! The tweet that caused all this havoc goes as follows: “I don’t like men.” Can you believe it? Because I can’t. This is honestly baffling. Yildirim is a 34-year-old book author and influencer, who is advocating for women’s rights. Which is dangerous because she resides in a country where is it common for women to be humiliated, insulted, and harassed, in every aspect and stage of their life.
And you haven’t heard the worst, Pinar did not write the post. She was jailed over something she reposted. And if you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself. It can still be seen in the tweet. As it is still online. The influence has over 1.9 million followers and decided to post the comment after a Turkish official of media authorities implied that watching Netflix content encourages homosexuality. To be exact RTUK, Radion, and Television Supreme Council made the statement.
As a result, a gay character was removed from the Tv series “Ask 101”. Yildirim states that she posted the comment in relation to this situation. She felt that a sensible person could watch tv and not be influenced to be gay. She then adds that she watched many shows with gay people and still like men. Her exact statement goes as follows: “I’ve watched so many gay Tv shows, I’ve finished movie after movie, no, no! I still like the vile, characterless sex called men.”
However, Istanbul Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor’s office does not believe this is to be true. According to them, Pinar tweeted “I’ve watched numerous movies with homosexuals, finished one after the other, but no, no, no! I still don’t like the despicable, dishonest, gender-called male.”
This brought about charges to Pinar and a full-on investigation into the tweet. An unknown tip-off received by the prosecutor suggested that Yildirim was sharing content that constitutes the crime of “openly denigrating a segment of the population on grounds of their social race, class, religion, gender, and regional differences.” Yildrim in her defense said the tweet was a response to a tweet her then-husband saying that she was “watching movies involving homosexual characters from morning till night.”
Other than that, she said there was no other reason to post that tweet. And that it didn’t receive any negative connotation until now. She denied all accusations against her. Apparently, any negative jargon such as “I don’t like men”, proves to be a serious crime in Turkey. This is extremely unfair considering femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey. Where women are causally killed, raped, and beaten every day. It is known by many that the Justice and Development party (AKP) government protects violent men by granting them impunity.
Pinar argues that a male cursed a female journalist and made a death threat, but he is not receiving any backlash from the courts. She then states that her tweets were already being reported by the police from a certain group. “I go to the police station almost every week to testify” said Yildirim. Most were shocked about her conviction while a small group of men rejoiced. These same men thought her sentence weren’t enough and express in detail how they wanted her dead and would rape her.
The main problem in the society of Turkey is men. Every day a woman is killed by the hands of a man. And it is romanticized in the media as a love murder. She ends the interview off with the equality of men and women. “It’s irritating to even talk about it in 2021. Surely it should be equal?”
Pinar is appealing the conviction as the case is currently on retrial.
Feature Image By Tim Hufner from UNSPLASH.COM