Bilgin Ciftc is a man of black humor.
The Turkish doctor has published a meme on his twitter account that shows Turkish President Erdogan next to Lord of the Ring’s antagonist Gollum.
His problem: The new Sultan is a man of zero humor, when its about him.
As a direct response to his posting, Ciftci has lost his job at a hospital and was even briefly taken into custody in October. A trial is next.
If you think that these are rather severe consequences for something that many in the West do on a daily basis, here is where it gets truly surreal: At the upcoming trial the court plans to hear experts on Tolkien’s trilogy, in order to determine whether the post is to be considered an insult.
In addition, two psychologists and a movie expert are to analyze whether there are any real similarities between Golum and the President. So Mr Ciftc’s fate might well depend on whether or not these experts agree that the comparison is somehow based on facts.
In recent months there have been a number of Turkish citizens having to defend themselves agains allegations of slandering the President, as Erdogan is trying to cement a kind of mythical subhuman standing in Turkish society that was so far only attributed to the Republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.