Diyarbakir police detained Amedspor player Deniz Naki due to the social media posts authorities find insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday.
Following a police interrogation, the footballer was released once authorities concluded that the implicated Twitter account is not used by Naki but a fan group.
Earlier, Naki was given suspended prison sentence of 18 months and 22 days due to his social media posts that the judge in charge claimed to be a part of terrorist propaganda. Naki said his postings aimed peace building in Turkey’s Kurdish regions in the east of the country, adding that he dedicated a 2016 win against rival Bursaspor to the people who lost their lives or got wounded during Turkish military operations in Diyarbakir’s Sur district.
“My statement following the match was the reason for them to file a complaint against me,” he told Turkish media. Turkey has intensified pressure against the Kurdish minority since the summer of 2015. While Kurdish majority cities were turned upside down with consecutive military attacks, hundreds of Kurdish politicians were jailed over terror charges.
Meanwhile, a total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdoğan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016.