Deniz Naki, a player for Diyarbakır-based Amedspor football team, was taken into custody in the evening hours yesterday (August 22).
Police detained Naki after attorneys for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint claiming that he had "defamed the President" on Twitter. After his questioning, it was confirmed that he was not the owner of the Twitter account in question and he was released.
Erdoğan's attorneys filed criminal complaint claiming defamation
Attorneys of President Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint with the Diyarbakır Public Chief Prosecutor's office for remarks defaming Erdoğan that were made through a Twitter account under the name of Deniz Naki.
The Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into criminal complaint and had Naki taken into custody.
Detained before information on facts of the case was gathered
During the police investigation, which was not carried out until Naki was taken into custody, it was confirmed that the Twitter account against which Erdoğan's attorneys filed a criminal complaint did not belong to Naki and was a fan page opened under his name.
Naki was then released after giving testimony.
The investigation that was launched due to the complaint by Erdoğan's attorneys reportedly continues.
In February 2016, Deniz Naki was sentenced to exclusion from 12 official games and was ordered to pay a 6,000 Euro punitive fine for making ideological propaganda and unsporting statements in his post on Facebook following his team's victory against Bursaspor in the Turkey Cup.
The posting in question was the following:
"Today was an important victory for us. We have come through this dirty game with honour. In such a rough time, we are experiencing the honour and pleasure of bringing a glimmer of hope to our people, even if just a drop. As Amedspor we have not surrendered and are not going to. We have taken the field with our faith in freedom and won. Because we have planted seeds in freedom and hope. We owe a debt of gratitude to all our politicians, artists and our people and dedicate this victory to all our people who have lost their lives or been injured on our lands for more than 50 days. Her biji Azadi (Long live freedom)".
Amedspor was sentenced to playing without an audience on one game and to a punitive fine in the amount of 7,600 Euro on charges of ideological chants by the team's fans in the game against Başakşehirspor earlier. The slogan they chanted was as follows:
The barricade is here, stands not to collapse...
Everywhere Sur, everywhere resistance...
Everywhere Cizre, everywhere resistance...
Don't let the children die, so they also can come to the play.
*AmedSK is a sports club based in Diyarbakır playing in the Turkish Football Federation Second League. The club changed its name in October 2014 from Diyarbakır Büyükşehir (Metropolitan Municipality) Belediyespor to AmedSK, adopting the Kurdish name for Diyarbakır. It was sentenced to a fine by the Turkish Football Federation for making this change.