Dr. Bilgin Çiftçi has been accused of “insulting a public official”, based on an internet meme he shared on his private Facebook account.
The meme – a humorous, comparative kind of picture – compared the facial expressions of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan to Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Gollum is known for his grotesque appearance, his split personality, eating raw fish and disliking rabbit stew and potatoes.
A Turkish court has decided to investigate the fictional character, determining whether he is a ‘bad personality’ or not.
Dr. Çiftçi, who’s worked as a doctor for over 20 years, has been barred from the family health hospital where he had been working over the accusations of “insulting statesmen”.
If this doesn’t sound all too far-fetched, there’s more: lawyers in the case are preparing a research report to send out to the internet, asking whether people think the gangly Gollum is good, bad, or ugly (maybe that last one shouldn’t be an option, that’s a given). Çiftçi’s lawyer went so far to say the lawsuit has turned into “a case of saving the pride of Gollum”.
Referees, or mediators, will include two psychologists or behavioral scientists, and an expert working on cinema-television pieces. Çiftçi, unsurprisingly, said he was shocked by the accusation.