Duchess of York charged in Turkey over orphans film
A court in Turkey has brought charges against the Duchess of York for secretly filming orphans in the country for a television documentary.
The Duchess visited the orphanage near Ankara while making a film for the ITV Tonight programme in 2008.
The court accused her of going "against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy" of five children.
The Duchess's spokesman said she would not be commenting, but a source said she was surprised at the development.
BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the source pointed out that the Turkish authorities tried and failed to bring action in the UK, and that the British Government was not involved in the case.
The source added that the Duchess was just trying to run a humanitarian trip and was surprised the Duchess was being brought to task when it was ITV that filmed the documentary.
She faces a maximum term of more than 22 years in prison if convicted.
The Duchess wore a disguise to enter the institution and filmed scenes of children tied to their beds and left in cots all day.
At the time, the Turkish government accused her of being involved in a "smudge campaign" when Turkey was trying to get membership of the European Union.
But the Duchess, who also filmed orphanages in Romania for the programme, said she was "apolitical" and had gone purely as a mother, and she was "happy with courage to stand by the film".
It is unclear why it has taken over three years for charges to be laid, and no trial date has yet been set.
Or perhaps she was trying to get that money to help the orphans?
Another self-publicising stunt? She certainly wasn't the first to check out Romanian orphans and going undercover in Turkey is not a responsible action from the mother of children in line for the throne.
So far she has produced children's book, a book of watercolours of the same scenes that Queen Victoria painted (although the Duchess didn't know that, she said that she must have been so in tune with Queen Victoria). Now Oprah Winfrey is going to help her analyze her psyche. Enough!
She employs an entourage that she cannot hope to pay and doesn't need.
To be fair, I don't think much of her ex either,pity they got divorced, a perfect match I'd have thought.
There's a very good reason the Queen won't let her get within a mile. She'd use any occasion for her own ends.
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.
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