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The Morality of Smeagol Determines a Turkish Man’s Freedom

Dr. Bilgin Ciftci shared a meme comparing Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s facial expressions to the Smeagol from Lord of the Rings. His possible imprisonment depends on a panel of LOTR experts who are tasked with determining the moral underpinnings of the character.

[DIGEST: NYTimes, Associated Press, Deadline]

Fanboy film debates have fostered passionate discourse since the birth of the Internet, but these squabbles have never garnered particularly high stakes. Until now. In September 2014, Turkish physician Dr. Bilgin Ciftci shared a meme comparing photos of Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) film trilogy with Turkey’s current President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan; a month later Ciftci was fired. He now faces up to two years in prison.

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