Turkey is investigating an Israeli skilled soccer participant for the Turkish soccer membership Antalyaspor after he referenced the continued Israel-Hamas conflict throughout a match within the coastal metropolis of Antalya on Sunday.
After scoring a aim in opposition to rivals Trabzonspor, Sagiv Jehezkel celebrated by exhibiting to the cameras and crowd his bandaged wrist, which had “100 days,” a small Star of David, and “7.10” written on it—a reference to the variety of days that Israeli hostages have been held captive by Hamas because the Palestinian militant group’s assault on Israel on Oct. 7.
Turkish justice minister Yilmaz Tunc mentioned on Sunday that public prosecutors have launched an investigation into Jehezkel for “inciting the general public to hatred and hostility.”
Jehezkel was reportedly detained by police for investigation as he was making ready to depart Turkey on Sunday evening, in keeping with Turkish media.
The 28-year-old soccer participant, additionally a member of the Israel nationwide workforce, joined Antalyaspor in September. The contract he signed then was set to run till June 2026, however now the membership has mentioned that he has been suspended from the workforce and will even have his contract terminated.
Antalyaspor launched an announcement on X saying that Jehezkel had “acted in opposition to the nationwide values of our nation” and can be excluded from the workforce. “Our Board of Administrators won’t ever permit conduct in opposition to the sensitivities of our nation, even when it ends in a championship or a cup,” the assertion mentioned.
Sinan Boztepe, the membership’s president, mentioned in a separate assertion on X that, whereas the membership considers its gamers purely as athletes, “with out discrimination of faith, language or race,” he didn’t approve of Jehezkel’s actions. “Nobody ought to doubt that I’ll do what is critical any longer, similar to right now,” he wrote. He famous that the membership had initially posted about Jehezkel’s aim on social media, however the put up was “eliminated instantly after the problem was observed.”
Boztepe advised native media that Jehezkel’s contract can be terminated.
Turkey’s nationwide soccer affiliation additionally condemned Jehezkel’s conduct, which it described as “fully unacceptable.”
Israel’s former Prime Minister Naftali Bennet shared his assist for the soccer participant. “Disgrace on you, Turkish authorities,” he wrote in a put up on X.
Turkey and Israel’s ties have been more and more strained by the Israel-Hamas conflict. Jehezkel’s controversial aim celebration on Sunday got here as Israelis known as for the discharge of the remaining hostages in Gaza that had been taken throughout Hamas’ assault on Oct. 7, which killed some 1,100 individuals. The identical day, pro-Palestinian demonstrators the world over marched to protest Israel’s ongoing navy operation, which has killed over 22,000 Palestinians.