Germany investigates shots fired at German-Turkish football player’s car

Germany investigates shots fired at German-Turkish football player’s car

BERLIN – Reuters
Germany investigates shots fired at German-Turkish football player’s car

German prosecutors are investigating shots fired at the car of a German-Turkish football player while he was driving near the west German city of Aachen late on Jan. 7, the prosecutors said on Jan. 8.

Deniz Naki told Die Welt newspaper he assumed the shots were fired by a “Turkish agent” or someone else who opposed his views. He was given a suspended sentence of 18 months by a Turkish court in April 2017 for “terrorist propaganda” in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Katja Schlenkermann-Pitts, a senior prosecutor in Aachen, said authorities were investigating the incident as an attempted homicide, but said her office could not confirm Naki’s concerns. She said prosecutors were looking “in all directions.”

The Interior Ministry had no information on the case, spokesman Johannes Dimroth told a regular government news conference. He said he had no doubt that Naki’s statements would be addressed by prosecutors as part of the investigation.

The incident occurred around 11 p.m. by local time on the A4 highway near the town of Dueren, where Naki grew up, as he was returning home after visiting a friend.

“I could have died,” Naki told the newspaper. “It was so close. I was scared to death.” He said the shots were fired from a black station wagon that was diagonally behind him, and two bullets struck his car.

Naki, who said he frequently received menacing messages on social media, said he had not received any specific threats in recent weeks.

Naki, a former national youth football player for Germany, now plays for Turkey’s third-tier Amedspor in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

Deniz Naki, German, Football, soccer