Kurdish Footballer Deniz Naki faces up to five years in prison

AMED (KDN) – Kurdish footballer Deniz Naki who plays for Amedspor in the southeastern Kurdish province of Diyarbakır faces up to five years in prison for seven social media posts that Turkish prosecutors consider “terrorist propaganda.”

Amedspor player Deniz Naki is expected to appear in the dock in the following days after a Turkish prosecutor in Diyarbakir completed an indictment against him, demanding up to five years for posts shared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts where he showed support for Kurds fighting Turkey-backed ISIS in Syria and Turkey.

Naki, a German-born Kurdish player with origins in the Dersim area in eastern Turkey, previously played at St. Pauli in Hamburg as well as Gençlerbirliği in Ankara, until he suffered an attack by IS supporters and ultranationalists. The player subsequently began playing at Amedspor but was handed a 12-match ban by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) for conducting “ideological propaganda” during a cup match against Bursaspor earlier in 2016.