Deniz Naki, a player for Diyarbakır-based Amedspor football team, was briefly detained on Tuseday over his alleged Twitter posts insulting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s autocratic President and the Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
According to a report by Bianet on Wednesday, Turkish police detained football player Deniz Naki after a lawyer of Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint with the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office and 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.
According to the report, Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office has immediately launched an investigation into criminal complaint and had Deniz Naki to be detained by police even the investigation was not been completed and related information was not gathered. However, the investigation which was continued after the detention of Naki has reportedly shown that the Twitter account which posts anti-Erdoğan messages did not belong to Naki. The account was confirmed that it is a fan page. Naki was released after giving testimony.
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.
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.