It was deemed an 'unacceptable' political message
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
The winner of Miss Turkey 2017 was stripped of her title just hours after being crowned when some of her old tweets surfaced.
Itir Ese, the 18-year-old who won the national beauty pageant this weekend, had taken to social media back in July and allegedly compared her menstrual blood to the blood shed in the coup against the Turkish government last year.
‘I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs’ day. I’m marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs’ blood,’ the since-deleted tweet said, according to Turkish media reports.
The coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saw almost 250 people killed and more than 2,000 people injured, with the President regularly referring to those who died as ‘martyrs’.
Officials for the competition have deemed the tweet ‘unacceptable’, and have stripped her of the Miss Turkey title. Can Sandikcioglu, who heads the Miss Turkey Organisation, said that an investigation confirmed that Itir was behind the tweet.
‘We are sad to announce that we have reached the conclusion that the tweet was posted by Itir Esen,’ he said. ‘It is not possible for the Miss Turkey Organisation, whose aim is to promote Turkey worldwide and to contribute to its image, to accept such a posting.’
Itir took to her own Instagram to defend her tweet, telling her followers she was sorry for ‘being misunderstood’.
‘I want to say that as a 18-year-old girl, I had no political aims while sharing this post,’ she wrote. ‘I was raised with respect for the homeland and the nation.’
Following the news, runner-up Asli Sumen will represent Turkey in China.