Foreign footballers take issue with questions after Istanbul bomb attack
AFP photoAn Armenian-origin footballer who plays for Beşiktaş has taken umbrage with a question from Armenian broadcaster Armnews about the twin bombings in Istanbul, noting that the attacks could have occurred anywhere.
Footballer Aras Özbiliz appeared live on a television program following the Dec. 10 twin bombings in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district, which claimed 44 lives and wounded hundreds.
Özbiliz answered some questions about Turkey in a television program that focuses on politics.
“This attack could have been conducted in Yerevan. It could also happen in Moscow. So, it could also happen to you. The first thing to be done is not to collapse against terrorism. I’m happy in Istanbul and I’m living in a beautiful city,” Özbiliz said after being asked if he was afraid to be in Turkey or was thinking of leaving the country in the wake of the latest terrorist attack.
Özbiliz said such attacks were occurring throughout the world, adding that his only fear was that his current injury would last longer.
Born in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, Özbiliz was raised in Hoorn, Netherlands, and holds both Dutch and Armenian citizenship. He received an Armenian passport on Oct. 4, 2011, thanks to an order by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and chose to play for the Armenian national team, making his debut on Feb. 29, 2012, in a friendly match with Canada. He scored in his very first game.
Meanwhile, Beşiktaş’s Canadian midfielder, Atiba Hutchinson, also disagreed with the questions.
“You do not know what people in Turkey are experiencing,” he said, adding that foreign journalists were fishing for comments that fit a predetermined line. “I do not want to talk with you, you are blabbering.”