Turkey ex-football great Hakan Sukur risks 4 years jail for ‘insulting Erdogan’

Turkey’s former international football star Hakan Sukur risks up to four years in jail after being charged with insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in posts on Twitter, reports said Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports.

Prosecutors have charged Sukur with posting Tweets from his account @HakanSukur containing “insulting content against Mr President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son,” the private Dogan news agency reported.

In his defence, Sukur, 44, said he did not intend to target the president in his posts, the content of which was not made clear.

But that was rejected by prosecutors, who claimed that the tweets were “clearly related” to Erdogan, the news agency said.

If convicted, Sukur faces up to four years in jail, according to the charges. As the indictment has been approved, a first hearing is expected in the coming weeks.

Sukur, a striker whose football career stretched from 1987-2007, was by far the most prolific goalscorer in the history of the Turkish national side, finding the net 51 times in 112 appearances.

He is also remembered for his electric performance in the 2002 World Cup, where Turkey registered its best ever performance of third place.

After football, the high-profile Sukur went into politics and was in 2011 elected MP from Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

But he resigned in 2013 after a vast corruption probe that targeted Erdogan and his inner circle, siding with the movement of his arch-foe, the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

The legal case is one of a string of others targeting journalists, bloggers and ordinary people who land in court on charges of insulting Erdogan and other top officials.

Show More
Back to top button