A trans influencer has avoided nearly eight years in jail over a video showing her apparently flushing a Turkish banknote down the toilet.
Social media star Mika Can Raun found herself in handcuffs after she posted a video of herself online in which she appears to flush a TRY-100 banknote down the toilet.
Prosecutors in Istanbul charged her with ‘publicly insulting the memory of Ataturk’ and ‘insulting the symbols of state sovereignty’.
This is because the TRY-100 note – worth GBP 4.40 – bears the likenesses of modern Turkey’s founder and the national flag.
They demanded Mika – who is legally known by the male name Mikail Can Kurnaz – be banged up for a draconian 7.5 years over the video filmed on 21st October.
Mika did not attend her sentencing hearing at the Anatolian 43rd Criminal Court of First Instance.
The court decided to acquit Mika after ruling that she did not actually drop the banknote into the toilet bowl.
The ruling was made public by her lawyer Ibrahim Emir Kose, who attended the hearing, on 12th January.
The video in question – posted to TikTok – shows Mika miming along to a song before apparently dropping the TRY-100 note into the pan and flushing it away.
But the note is never actually seen in the toilet bowl and Mika claimed she had actually dropped it on the floor.
She had taken the video down an hour after posting it.
She said at the time: “I did not act with the intention of committing any disrespect or crime against the Republic of Turkey.
“I have no intention of insulting Ataturk or our national values.”
Mika boasts more than a million followers across social media platforms.
LGBT people widely report facing discrimination in Turkey, despite its relatively progressive stance on such issues compared to most other Muslim-majority nations.