Prosecutor launches probe into Başakşehir footballers, staff for attacking journalists
RİZEThe Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Black Sea province of Rize has launched an investigation into five suspects from the Medipol Başakşehir football team in connection with an assault on two journalists following a game with Çaykur Rizespor a day earlier, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Two journalists from private broadcaster A Spor, reporter Selman Kutlu and cameraman Ahmet Çağlar Yıldırım, said they were attacked by Başakşehir players and staff while they were filming a fight that erupted between a supporter and team captain Emre Belözoğlu following a 3-3 draw with Çaykur Rizespor on April 22.
The two journalists filed a complaint against Başakşehir goalkeeper Volkan Babacan, substitute goalkeeper Ufuk Ceylan, player Yalçın Ayhan, club translator Barbaros Gözmeli and an unidentified club staff over the incident.
The Rize Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the attack on April 23, ordering five suspects to testify.
The fight reportedly erupted after Belözoğlu took exception to criticism from a supporter over a chance during the game, with the player attempting to reach the fan over a wire fence.
Belözoğlu’s teammates, who disembarked from the team bus after witnessing the melee, proceeded to assault the journalists who were recording the brawl, with Gözmeli allegedly launching the attack.
Meanwhile, home team Çaykur Rizespor and the Rize 53 Journalists’ Association both condemned the attack on the journalists.
Başakşehir Chairman Göksel Gümüşdağ also said in a statement that he “sincerely apologized” to members of the press over the assault, stating that the club would evaluate the incident.