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Turkish President Erdoğan gets 'precious' and threatens Gollum meme sharers with jail

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

December 3, 2015 | 3 min read

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been accused of being a little 'precious' as a citizen faces jail for sharing a meme likening the head of state to Gollum from the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) franchise.

Turkish doctor Bilgin Çiftçi could face a two-year jail sentence if he is found guilty of insulting the state official on social media – the court has been tasked with deeming whether or not the comparison to Gollum is indeed an insult.

Throwing a spanner into the works, Lord of the Rings and Hobbit director Peter Jackson waded into the debate speaking to the Wrap, casting doubt on the negative connotations of the meme.

He said: “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.”

For those unfamiliar with the LOTR lore, Smeagol has a split personality; Gollum being the dominant and evil half influenced by Sauron’s ring of power.

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The trial has been adjourned until 23 February 2015.

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