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Turkish TV contestant who tortured parrot sent to mental hospital

A contestant in Turkey’s version of the Survivor and MasterChef reality series has been sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation after airing footage of himself torturing a parrot.

Murat Özdemir, who became well known for his erratic and controversial behavior on MasterChef, which airs on Turkey’s TV8 channel, showed the footage of himself torturing the parrot on social media.

While his antics on MasterChef were tolerated, his behavior in relation to the parrot was not and generated a huge outcry from people who viewed the video on social media.

Özdemir was then detained and questioned by the Beşiktaş Public Order Department in Istanbul. He was then subsequently released, but his release did not go down well.

Protests outside his home by animal rights activists and the ensuing public outrage prompted a prosecutor to issue a new warrant for Özdemir to be taken into custody again.

Özdemir was then sent to Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital for observation to determine his mental status and fined 5,254 lira.

Authorities have seized the parrot while Özdemir stays in the psychiatric hospital for the next 21 days.

Known for his rude and erratic behavior, he had become the first ever contestant who was disqualified from MasterChef. Meanwhile, authorities say the parrot, named Mesut Bahtiyar, is in good condition and receiving treatment for its ordeal. However, later it’s reported that the health condition of parrot Bahtiyar got worse and it died.

Özdemir has been in trouble previously with the authorities and his criminal record, according to judicial authorities, shows that he had been in trouble for malicious damage of property and domestic violence.

Acun Ilicali, infamous figure of Turkey’s TV entertainment business and owner of TV8. (Photo: NTV)
Acun Ilicali: We couldn’t understand that he is a psychopath

Özdemir forced a parrot to pronounce Acun Ilicali’s name who is the owner of TV8 that broadcasts MasterChef program. Famous television personality and media mogul Ilicali reacted Özdemir’s video, saying to Turkish media: “It is a very sad incident.. heartbreaking. I am an animal lover too. We have two cats in our office. I was surprised that some people are trying to link Ozdemir’s torture with me. We could not understand that Ozdemir is a psychopath.”

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