Turkish social media star sentenced to 6 years over promoting drug use

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a popular Turkish social media influencer to five years and 10-months in prison over posts, which it said promoted drug use. 

The social media posts of Pınar Karagöz, known as “Pucca’’ have previously landed her in hot water. Karagöz was briefly detained in October, along with other social media figures, following a raid by drug enforcement police units.

“Hundreds of poor people took food to their homes thanks to narcotics,’’ one of Karagöz’s tweets in question said.

Karagöz’s lawyer Ali Furkan Tatlı said the social media star’s posts were pertaining the popular television drama Narcos, which is based on the story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and had no intention of promoting drug use, independent news site T24 reported.

"This decision is arbitrary and not based in law,’’ Tatlı said.

Karagöz posted an emotional reaction to the ruling on Instagram, crying as she said that Escobar himself had not received such a lengthy jail sentence.

"What am I going to do now?’’ Karagöz asked.

Many in Turkey reacted to the sentence on social media. 

"Seven years in prison for posting a humorous tweet after watching a TV show?’’ actress Berna Laçin posted on Twitter. 

 "Drug dealers are free, thieves are free, murderers are free… this is a joke,’’ one Twitter user said.

Karagöz’s lawyer will appeal the verdict, which was initially a seven year sentence, reduced to five years and 10 months and a financial penalty of 66, 666 lira ($ 11,500).