DİHA - Dicle News Agency


Kurdish footballer attacked for condemning ISIS

6 November
11:14 2014

ANKARA (DİHA) - Deniz Naki, a professional footballer, was physically attacked by three people and verbally abused for supporting a 'Dersim' tattoo on his arm and for publicly condemning ISIS an showing support for Kobanê.

Naki played for Genclerbirligi, a Turkish professional football club that plays in the highest tier of Turkish football. On Sunday, he was attacked by three people who also shouted abuse at him for having Dersim (the Kurdish name for the city of Tunceli) tattooed on his arm rather than the Turkish Tunceli. Nakis said that the attackers also abused him by saying that "ISIS is going to f... the Kurds". Naki shared a picture of himself in which his left eye is heavily bruised.

Deniz Naki left Genclerbirligi with immediate effect, after what he said was a "lack of support" from the club. Naki had previously voiced support for Kobane on social media, and had condemned the ISIS on several occasions. This was not the first time that Naki was abused.

In a statement Naki released after the incident he said, "The three attackers approached me. They surrounded me and swore at me. They insulted me for being Kurdish and Alevi. They said stuff about Kobane. While I tried to calm them down, one of them threw a punch at me. I was shocked. I retaliated and then ran away. They chased me and told me that this was only a warning.

To a question on why he didn't report the incident to the police, Deniz Naki replied, "I did not think of reporting the incident to the police to take the matter to court because in a country where the killers of 14 year old Berkin, Ethem or Ali Ismail are not brought to justice; in a country where those responsible for Roboski are not even found and tried, I could not have faith in the judicial process of that country".

Deniz Naki terminated his contract with Genclerbirligi with immediate effect and returned to Germany to be with his family.