The winner of Miss Turkey 2017 was decrowned on Friday just hours after winning the beauty pageant, after a tweet she posted about the July 15, 2016 coup attempt came to light.
“We regret to inform that such a tweet has been posted by Itır Esen. It is not possible for the Miss Turkey Organization to promote such a post, when it aims to introduce Turkey to the world and contribute to its image,” the Miss Turkey Organization has said in a written statement.
Esen deleted her Twitter account following the decision. On July 16 of this year, Esen tweeted that “In order to celebrate July 15 martyrs day, I am on my period the next morning. I celebrate the day by bleeding, which represents the blood of our martyrs.”
Esen has not yet responded but has reportedly removed all photos taken during the pageant from her social media accounts.
Following the decrowning, Aslı Sümen, who was the runner-up of this year’s Miss Turkey pageant, automatically gained the right to participate in the Miss World pageant, which will be held in China this year.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.