Neşe İdil / Duvar English
Turkish boxer Ünsal Arık, who was attacked in Berlin on Aug. 9, said that the assailants were supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Arık, a world boxing champion who is a known critic of Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said that two people started singing the Turkish President's election song to him and that the attack took place when he told them that he didn't want to hear it.
"They sang Erdoğan's election song to me and attacked me when I told them that I didn't want to hear his name," Arık, who was subjected to a knife attack last year, told Duvar English.
Known for his devotion to the Turkish Republic's founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the boxer is a staunch opponent of the AKP government. The boxer last year said that Erdoğan supporters would be to blame if he is killed one day.
"I don't go around singing songs about Atatürk," Arık said.
The boxer said that he has been subjected to harassment numerous times, with people often shouldering and insulting him.
"This is an organized attack. They could have killed me if they wanted to, but they're trying to intimidate me," Arık said.
Noting that it's getting harder and harder for Erdoğan critics to speak openly in Germany, Arık noted that German police recently called him to caution him.
German authorities last month warned several prominent Erdoğan critics about a hit list including the names of 55 people and said that they were deepening an investigation into the issue.
"What saddens me the most is the fact that the German police are trying to protect one Turkish national from another," Arık said.
"This incident really broke my heart," he added.
Arık, in a video he shared on Twitter on Aug. 9, was seen to be suffering from bruises on his face.
"I don't know what you've been doing is worth these people that are temporary, but it seems that you have no morals," said Arık, who has been receiving death threats in Germany.
"The next time I will not only break your chin, but all your bones. May God give you whatever you deserve. You should be ashamed of yourselves," the boxer noted.
Saying that he represents the Turkish flag, Arık ended the video by saying that he is genuinely sad.
"How can calling a sportsperson representing the Turkish flag a traitor, attacking him dastardly be explained? I'm getting genuinely sad," he said.