Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is facing charges of Invasion of Privacy laws in Turkey. She has a Turkish legal team working on her defense against the charges that she violated the privacy of children when she filmed a documentary on the conditions within two orphanages in Turkey. She will not travel to Ankara for the trial.
Ferguson has once again shown that she is her own person and able to stand up for what she believes. It takes strength of character to stand up against a perceived injustice, but for Ferguson, she has the added pressures of being “Duchess” and the responsibilities that come with that title.
The Duchess is accused of violating the privacy of children after filming an undercover documentary about the conditions in orphanages in Turkey. If convicted, she could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Sarah Ferguson and her daughter, Eugenie, visited the orphanages where children were tied to their beds, undernourished, and living in deplorable conditions.
Ferguson posed in disguise as an aid worker and, accompanied by a film crew, visited a state-run orphanage in Ankara where she reportedly found emaciated children tied in cots all day.
BBC News reports that she has apologized for any offense, but stands by her 2008 film’s conclusion that children are being ill-treated in these institutions.
Beside the legal issues, Ferguson has been criticized for taking part in the documentary. In a related article on BBC News, it is reported that she was asked if it was proper for a member of the royal family to take on such an endeavor, to which she replied that she was not a member of the royal family.
“I would never in a million years believe myself to be political in any way, shape or form.” She added, “I am apolitical and multi-faith. And I certainly support 100% Her Majesty, more than anyone else in my world.”
Turkey contends that the Duchess and her daughter “smeared its image” by their visit and filming of the state-run orphanage. It would seem that the state of the orphanage is what is tarnishing the Turkish image, and the cure for this is simple: fix the orphanage.
This certainly isn’t the first time that Ferguson has run against the desires of the royals, but this time she is facing a prison sentence. Her courage is to be admired.
The Duchess has no plans to travel to Turkey, and it is doubtful that England will extradite her.