Mother of Kurdish soccer player detained for not standing during Turkish national anthem

Oktay Aydın

Fatma Aydın, the mother of Kurdish professional soccer player Oktay Aydın, was briefly detained on Sunday for failing to stand during the national anthem at a stadium in Diyarbakır, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

The detention came after a league game between Amedspor and Etimesgut Belediyespor. Aydın was released after questioning at a police station.

A fan association affiliated with Amedspor released a statement saying that Aydın was unable to stand up due to a knee-related health issue, criticizing the detention.

The Turkish national anthem is typically played or sung at the beginning of every league game.

Based in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır, Amedspor is frequently the subject of ethnically motivated violence, especially during away games in western provinces.

Some of the club’s players were also personally prosecuted for alleged ties to terrorism.

Since the 1980s, Turkey’s Kurdish-majority eastern and southeastern provinces have been the scene of an armed conflict between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed separatist network designated as a terrorist entity by Turkey and much of the international community.

The breakdown of peace talks between the government and the PKK in mid-2015 led to a significant deterioration in the human rights situation in the region, including arbitrary detentions and terrorism-related investigations launched into local residents over nonviolent acts.

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