Pundit Rasim Ozan Kütahyalı fired after sexually explicit remarks about Bosnians
Turkish pundit Rasim Ozan Kütahyalı has been fired after making lewd comments targeting Bosniaks during a TV sports show.
His remarks drew condemnation from Bosnian and Balkan associations, politicians, actors and sportspeople, as well as a storm on social media.
The firing was confirmed on Nov. 21 by Kütahyalı’s partner on the show “Derin Football” (Deep Football), broadcast on the station Beyaz TV.
Ertem Şener said Kütahyalı would no longer be taking part in the show, while claiming that he was a victim of a “plot.”
“Kütahyalı has apologized to the Bosniaks, but some evil centers are carrying out an operation against him. I must highlight that he has enough power to make all these evil centers pay the price,” Şener said.
After controversy erupted, Kütahyalı apologized to Bosnia and the Bosniaks over his remarks.
“One of the men I value most for his political wisdom is the great leader [former Bosnian President] Alija İzzetbegovic ... There are all the books of the wise King Alia in my library. No one can present me as being against the Bosnian people,” he said.
While the show was still being broadcast a group of around 100 Bosnian-origin Istanbul residents protested in front of the Beyaz TV office, chanting against Kütahyalı.
Following the incident he has also reportedly been fired from pro-government newspaper Sabah, where he has been a columnist for a number of years.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmaker Saffet Sancaklı blasted Kütahyalı’s remarks, saying “these kinds of people should be excluded from society.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Basketball Federation head Hidayet Türkoğlu, an advisor of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, called on prosecutors to act.
“Rasim Ozan Kütahyalı is trying to humiliate the people of Bosnia, who have made the whole world jealous through their friendship and sincerity with the Turkish people throughout history. As a Bosnian I condemn this person heavily and I call on our prosecutors to do their duty,” Türkoğlu said.