Footballer Naki has trial for propaganda posts in Turkey abandoned
Deniz Naki (Photo: cilagazete.com)
Turkish lower league footballer Deniz Naki has been spared up to five years in prison after prosecutors withdrew charges for social media posts which allegedly contained terrorist propaganda, a member of the German parliament said Tuesday.
Naki appeared in court in Diyarbakir, Turkey, for a trial which was surprisingly halted after the prosecutor said the German-born Amedspor player was entitled to freedom of expression, Jan van Aken of the left-wing Die Linke party told dpa by phone. The court accepted the request to halt proceedings.
Previously state prosecutors had cited Naki for seven posts which "incite hatred and hostility toward a group by another group who bore different characteristics due to its region, to undermine the region's locals' trust in the Turkish Republic and overtly make propaganda for the PKK/KCK terror organization," according to the Dogan agency, which quoted the indictment.
Naki, 27, denied wrong-doing as he wanted to share peaceful messages.
The player was previously with St Pauli and Paderborn in Germany along with Turkish top-flight side Genclerbirligi before joining third-tier Amedspor.
He was banned for 12 games earlier in 2016 by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) for conducting "ideological propaganda" after a cup victory against Bursaspor.
Van Aken said the cessation of the trial was a sign that "international pressure has worked.
"That is why I would like the German government to take action so that something can change in Turkey."
An observer from the German embassy in Ankara also attended the trial.