Turkish prosecutors launch investigation against Israeli footballer over gesture

Turkey's Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç announced that a judicial investigation has been launched against Antalyaspor's Israeli player Jehezkel, who was left out of the squad for showing the words "100 days 07.10" on the bandage on his wrist after scoring a goal. Jehezkel was detained and given a deportation order.

Duvar English

Turkey's Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç announced that an investigation was launched against Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel, who showed the inscription on his wrist referring to the date when Israel started massacre in Gaza after scoring a goal. The footballer was detained with the instruction of Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

Antalyaspor player Jehezkel on Jan. 14 went to the cameras after his goal and showed the words "100 days 07.10" on the bandage on his left wrist.

The southern Antalya province's sport club initially announced that the player has been left out of the squad and then added that they have started to work on the termination of his contract.

Minister Tunç stated on X that an investigation was opened against Jehezkel for "inciting the public to hatred and hostility."

The minister added, "I once again condemn the attacks of Israel, which has committed crimes against humanity by committing genocide in Gaza, regardless of children or women, young or old, for more than 100 days. We will always continue to stand by the oppressed Palestinians."

Later, with the instruction of Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Antalya Security Directorate teams detained the Israeli footballer and took him to the police station.

In his statement, Jehezkel said, "I did not do anything to provoke anyone. I am not a pro-war person. And after all, there are Israeli soldiers captured in Gaza. I am a person who believes that this 100-day period must come to an end. I want the war to end. That is why I showed the sign there. I am a person who has nothing to do with politics. I have never done anything related to politics since the day I arrived. I have never disrespected anyone since the day I arrived. The point I wanted to draw attention to was the end of the war."

Israel's Foreign Ministry said Turkish authorities released Jehezkel from police custody and that he would return to Israel on Jan. 15.

According to Turkish state television TRT Spor, Jehezkel was given a deportation order.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant accused Turkey of serving as a "de facto executive arm of Hamas".

In a post on X, Gallant reminded Turkey of Israel's swift assistance to it following last year's earthquake and called Jehezkel's treatment "a manifestation of hypocrisy and ingratitude."

Turkish Football Federation (TFF) also condemned footballer Jehezkel with a statement and said, "The public should have no doubt that the necessary action will be taken against those responsible for this act that disturbs the honor of humanity and the conscience of the Turkish society."

Israeli army has been carpet bombing Gaza for more than three months and killed 23,968 Palestinians, including at least 10,000 children.

Gazalost one percent of its population in this period, at least eighty per cent of the population was displaced.