Organizers have stripped Miss Turkey 2017 of her crown over a social media posting that was deemed insulting to the memory of the 250 people killed while opposing last year’s failed military coup.
Miss Turkey organizers said the 18-year-old Itir Esen was dethroned on Friday, a day after she won the contest and the right to represent Turkey at the Miss World contest in China. The organizers said in an emailed statement that her title was revoked because of a tweet in July that they described as “unacceptable.”
Runner-up Asli Sumen will now represent Turkey in China.
Media reports said Esen, a model and university student, caused a storm on social media after she posted a remark on Twitter as the country held memorials for the victims on the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
According to Sozcu newspaper and other media the tweet, which has since been erased, said: “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.”
Esen reportedly denied the account was hers. But Can Sandikcioglu, who heads the Miss Turkey Organization, said the committee said it confirmed she was the author of the tweet.
“We are sad to announce that we have reached the conclusion that the tweet was posted by Itir Esen,” the organization quoted Sandikcioglu as saying. “It is not possible for the Miss Turkey Organization, whose aim is to promote Turkey worldwide and to contribute to its image, to accept such a posting.”
The organization said the tweet came to their attention after the competition and that it took them “hours” to determine that was Esen’s.