Peter Jackson to Turkish court: Pictures are Smeagol, not Gollum.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Peter Jackson, the director and scriptwriter of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" series is dismissing a Turkish court's attempt to determine whether or not the character Gollum is good or bad, claiming that the pictures in question depict Smeagol.
In October 2015 Aydyn-based physician Dr. Bilgin Eciftci was expelled from the Public Health Institution of Turkey (THSK) after sharing a meme that compared images of President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an to the fictional character Smeagol (or Gollum), known for his grotesque appearance, showing them both eating and expressing surprise and amazement, thereby allegedly insulting the president. Eciftci now faces a prison sentence of up to two years.
Jackson along with scriptwriters Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens, who worked on both films, gave a joint statement to The Wrap, a news portal covering entertainment and media. "If the images below are in fact the ones forming the basis of this Turkish lawsuit, we can state categorically: None of them feature the character known as Gollum. All of them are images of the character called Smeagol."
The statement was made after the SE[micro]zcE- daily reported on Dec. 1 that the Aydyn 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance decided to have a group of experts look into the character of Gollum/Smeagol in order to decide whether or not Erdoy-an was insulted. According to the daily, the group will be composed of two academics, two behavioral scientists and an expert on cinema and television productions.
"Smeagol is a joyful, sweet character. Smeagol does not lie, deceive, or attempt to manipulate others. He is not evil, conniving, or malicious -- these personality traits belong to Gollum, who should never be confused with Smeagol," the statement from Jackson, Walsh and Boyens read.
"Smeagol would never dream of wielding power over those weaker than himself," it stated. "He is not a bully. In fact he's very loveable. This is why audiences all over the world have warmed to his character."
Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) defines the insulting of the president as a crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to four years. More than 200 people have been accused of insulting Erdoy-an since his election to the presidency in 2014. (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN
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