Former Turkish int'l footballer Hakan Şükür faces jail for ‘insulting Erdoğan’
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court has accepted an indictment by a prosecutor who demanded up to four years in jail for former MP and retired international footballer Hakan Şükür for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son.
Deputy Attorney General İdris Kurt in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district said in the indictment that Erdoğan’s lawyer Ahmet Özel and businessman Bekir Savram had lodged complaints about Twitter posts sent by Şükür.
Şükür, who is among the most successful strikers in Turkish football history, was elected as a member of parliament in 2011 from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ranks.
He resigned from the party in 2013 amid the row between Erdoğan and U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Şükür, who is known as a supporter of Gülen, ended his parliamentary term us an independent and run as an independent candidate at the June 7 general elections last year but failed to achieve a seat.
In his defense, Şükür denied that the words in his tweets were directed at either the president or his son.
Following its acceptance of the indictment, the court is now waiting to set a date for the first hearing of the case.
Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency quoted sources from the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Feb. 24 as saying an inspection was ongoing for a column penned by world-renown Turkish climber Nasuh Mahruki, who was accused of insulting Erdoğan in a piece titled “Why Shouldn’t Erdoğan be the President?”
Mahruki was the first ever Turkish sportsman to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, known as the Seven Summits. He is the founder of the Search and Rescue Association (AKUT), a very active NGO.