Istanbul: Miss Turkey has been stripped of her title after posting an 'unacceptable' tweet claiming menstrual blood 'represents the martyrs' who fought in last year's failed military coup.
Itir Esen, 18, was accused of insulting the memory of the 250 people who died fighting against the uprising in her country last year.
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 Organisation, said the committee said it confirmed she was the author of the tweet, according to Associated Press.
“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 organisation said the tweet came to their attention after the competition and that it took them 'hours' to determine that it was made by Esen herself.
Reports also said that Runner-up Asli Sumen will now represent Turkey in China.