Deniz Tekin / DUVAR
An investigation into a football club in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has proven Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu's claims on the club acting on orders from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) false.
Soylu in November 2019 referred to Amedspor as “the team that takes orders from Qandil,” referring to the mountains in northern Iraq where the PKK is based. However, a ten-day investigation by teams from the ministry has proven that Soylu's claim does not hold water.
Amedspor hails from the majority-Kurdish city of Diyarbakır, and been subjected to constant attacks and threats for its pro-Kurdish political stance. Amed is the Kurdish word for Diyarbakır.
Ministry experts went to Diyarbakır immediately after Soylu's remarks to investigate the team. They also surveyed Amedspor's financial records dating from January 2018 and December 2019, and concluded that the club had not received any financial backing from any international bank accounts, and that it had not participated in any sort of international activities.Singer says he was threatened by gendarmerie, intel agency to not sing in Kurdish in Turkey's east
Former club president Metin Kılavuz said that Soylu's comments were a source of humorous discussions among locals, who pondered “Are there even banks in the Qandil Mountains? Were they sending electronic funds transfers?”
“In every way, Amedspor is the most transparent team in Turkey that can provide the most accounting. We have no sort of undeclared transactions, and it would be impossible to have them, because we know that we are the most inspected and will be the most inspected club in Turkey,” Kılavuz said.
The former president said that pressure against the club increased after it changed its name to Amedspor in 2015.
“Amed is the oldest name in the history of Diyarbakır. It has a historical and cultural past dating back thousands of years. There's the Osmanlı [Ottoman] club that is affiliated with the federation but when it comes to Amedspor, it's a problem. There is no and can't be any explanation for this,” Kılavuz said.
“This country is not owned by anyone. It belongs to everyone, with its differences and colors. Let Amedspor be. It performs a public duty and has a social function. Approaches that criminalize and marginalize Amedspor should be avoided.”80-year-old Kurdish man imprisoned for speaking mother tongue dies of illness in Turkey's east