Instagram model charged in Turkey over images at Sex Museum

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Instagram model charged in Turkey over images at Sex Museum

A social media influencer said she is being prosecuted under obscenity laws in her native Turkey for posting photos taken inside the world-famous Sex Museum in Amsterdam – including penis-shaped pasta and a “sexy bottle opener.”

Merve Taskin, 23, who has more than 580,000 followers on Instagram, shared images of sex toys she bought at the museum during a birthday trip to the Netherlands in January 2020, the BBC reported.

She said she was later arrested by Turkish authorities and faces obscenity charges that can land her in the slammer for up to three years.

“My purpose was to make jokes,” the Istanbul belle told the news outlet.

Taskin said she decided to visit the museum when she visited the Dutch capital with two pals to celebrate her 22nd birthday.

Among the images she posted were snaps of penis-shaped pasta and a “sexy bottle opener,” which she deemed innocent enough – but Turkish authorities took offense and slapped her with the charges.

Merve Taskin. A 23-year-old Instagram influencer says she’s being prosecuted
Taskin was later arrested by Turkish authorities and faces obscenity charges that can land her in the slammer for up to three years.
Instagram (https://www.instagram)

Taskin has been summoned to appear in court on Oct. 26 for allegedly violating obscenity-related Article 226 of Turkey’s penal code.

Sex Museum director Monique van Marle told the BBC that the situation “absolutely ridiculous.”

She said her institution has messaged Taskin to say it was “sorry to hear about the trouble you are in” and called her a “great role model to other women.”

“Our museum is intended to educate people all around the world about the history of sex. We admire you for expressing yourself and posting such pictures,” the message read.

The Turkish embassy in London did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.  

The influencer says she was just tying to 'make jokes.'
The influencer says she was just tying to ‘make jokes.’
Instagram

Human rights groups have said freedom of expression online has taken a hit under the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose critics say he is an autocratic leader who silences anyone who opposes him and his conservative values.

Turkey “remains one of most challenging places in the European region to exercise one’s right to free speech and expression,” according to Freedom House, a nonprofit group that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights.

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