A judge in Turkey has asked the court to determine whether or not Gollum, the troubled, impish character from the Lord of the Rings franchise, is good or evil in an effort to decide whether or not a Turkish man should receive jail as punishment for a Gollum meme he created featuring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Washington Post reports that no less than five experts in the Lord of the Rings franchise have been appointed to determine if the doctor who created the meme, Bilgin Ciftci, was insulting the president, an offense which is illegal under Turkish law.
Between August, 2014, and March, 2015, over 200 people have been investigated for reported insults to the president. While he is now facing potential jail time for the Gollum meme, Ciftci has already lost his job as he awaits the results of the experts’ analysis of the evidence.
Interestingly, Fusion reports that the case has been heard four times to date, and no decision has been reached about whether or not Ciftci should get jail for the Gollum meme he designed.
The case has been postponed until February, 2016, to allow the experts time to sift through the evidence that will ultimately determine if Ciftci should receive jail time for the Gollum meme. Given the fact that there has not been any determination as yet about whether Ciftci should receive jail for his Gollum meme that he created, the experts called to determine whether or not Gollum is a positive or a negative character will have significant challenges ahead. It is possible that the experts who are set to ultimately determine whether or not Ciftci will receive jail time for the Gollum meme he created — a decision that will be made should they determine that Gollum is indeed a negative character — will see Gollum as a positive character who is merely greedy and has a desire for power because of his tortured soul.
Erdogan’s tenure as president has coincided with an uptick in the numbers of investigations into insults of the Turkish head of state, which is, indeed, unfortunate for Ciftci, should the judge determine he receives jail for the Gollum meme he created and posted on his Facebook account. In reality, anyone found guilty of insults to the Turkish head of state could be eligible for jail time up to four years, but that jail time could increase should the insult come from a journalist or otherwise be made in a public forum. In the case of whether or not the doctor should receive jail time for the Gollum meme, it will be interesting to see if Ciftci receives a jail sentence on this fifth proceeding. After all, time is a precious commodity, and this case has been heard four times previously. Will Gollum be deemed a “precious” and positive character? Only the experts will tell, in February, 2016.
[Image via New Line Cinema/Mashable]