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ISTANBUL — A judge has asked five experts to determine whether comparing Turkey's president to "Lord of the Rings" character Gollum should be considered an insult.
Bilgin Ciftci appeared in court in southern Turkey on Tuesday and could face up to two years in jail for posting pictures of the slimy and scary creature juxtaposed with photos of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Facebook, according to his lawyer Hicran Danisman. Insulting a public figure is a crime in Turkey.
Judge Murat Saz in the city of Aydin asked that two academics, two psychologists or behavioral scientists and a movie or television expert to weigh in on the true nature of Gollum's character, Danisman said.
"I am very surprised by the decision of the judge," he added.
The case follows an anonymous complaint and is being pursued by the local prosecutor, who could not be reached for comment. The alleged offense occurred on Sept. 12, 2014, according to Danisman.
The case was later adjourned until February.
In the books and movies, Gollum's desire for a magical ring he called "my precious" completely obsesses him and disfigures his body.