Turkish Rap Artist Acquitted of Inciting Drug Use

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A court in Istanbul has acquitted a rap musician the charge inciting drug use in his song lyrics and video clips.

Sercan Ipekcioglu, better-known as rapper “Ezhel,” was detained by narcotics police in Istanbul last month and later charged with encouraging drug use.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the court acquitted him on Tuesday in the first hearing the case, ruling that Ipekcioglu had not “acted with the intent committing a crime.”

Dozens Ezhel fans waiting outside the courtroom cheered and celebrated his acquittal.

His arrest had led to a social media campaign by supporters, with many users calling for his release using the hashtag “FreeEzhel.”