In July 2017, one the first anniversaries of the military coup attempt, Esen wrote on Twitter, "I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs' day. I'm marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs' blood."
The organizers of Miss Turkey denounced her remark as "unacceptable" as it was deemed insulting to the memory of those killed during the attempted coup.
"We regret to inform that such a tweet has been posted by Itır Esen. It is not possible for the Miss Turkey Organization to promote such a post, when it aims to introduce Turkey to the world and contribute to its image," they said in a statement cited by Hurryiet Daily.
The organizers also said that as the runner-up of this year’s pageant, Asli Sümen has automatically gained the right to represent Turkey at the Miss World 2017 contest in China.
On the night of July 15-16 a group of plotters within the Turkish Army and Air Force launched a coup in Istanbul and Ankara, but it collapsed within hours. Some 290 people were killed and more than 2,000 wounded during the night of the coup and those on the loyalist side who were killed are now referred to as "martyrs" by the government and Turkish media.