Kurdish-German footballer Deniz Naki attacked in Ankara

German-Kurdish football player Deniz Naki

Rodi Hevian

Kurdish-German footballer Deniz Naki, who plays for Turkey’s Super League club Gençlerbirliği in Ankara, was attacked by ISIS supporters and nationalist Turks after tweeting about Kobane. Naki, a former German U21 international and St. Pauli professional in Bundesliga, has decided to leave his club and Turkey following the attack over the weekend.

Naki, who in the past faced abuses and insults for his Kurdish origin and carrying a tattoo that says “Dersim,” the Kurdish name for the eastern city of Tunceli and “Azadi” freedom in Kurdish, was attacked by unknown assailants believed to be from ISIS supporters in Ankara on Nov. 2 and suffered some minor injuries on his face and arms.

“On Sunday I went out to get something for dinner when I was surrounded by three people near my residence in Ankara. They threatened me that this was the first warning, if you do not leave Ankara you would face the worst the club did not need anyone like me and I should go away.” Naki told German Bild.

Naki, who tweeted recently criticizing ISIS and expressed support for the Kurds in Kobane on his social media accounts, said he now fears to go out alone in Ankara and has therefore decided to leave Turkey for Germany.
He also told Kurdish News Agency ANF based in Amsterdam today that despite threats he received from ISIS supporters in Turkey, he would never stop supporting the Kurdish cause in Rojava and Kobane and call on the Kurds to do whatever they can to save people of Kobane.

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