Amedspor vice president detained ahead of championship play-offs

Amedspor vice president detained ahead of championship play-offs
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Police in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir arrested Amedspor’s vice president, Omer Elaldi, along with his relatives, just two days before the play-off matches

Police on Tuesday in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish city Diyarbakir have taken into custody the vice president of Amedspor, the football club which represents the city in the second division.

In the early hours of the morning, the security branch teams affiliated with the Diyarbakır Police Department conducted raids on several houses, including that of Amedspor vice president Omer Elaldi.

As part of the operation, a total of 14 people, including Elaldi, were detained. The detainees were taken to the Diyarbakir Police Department for questioning.

Amedspor President Selahattin Yıldırım expressed his reaction on Twitter:

"We do not accept this operation carried out just two days before the play-off matches, which our team is on the road to the championship," he said.

Earlier this month, Elaldi replied on Twitter ultranationalist Victory Party Chair Umit Ozdag who vowed he would prevent Amedspor from participating in Turkey's future leagues, because of the club’s name, which means “Diyarbakir” in Kurdish.

"If you dare to mention my team's name again, wash your mouth seven times with dirt and rinse with water before speaking it again," Elaldi said.

Amedspor has a strong following among the city's Kurdish population and has been at the center of controversy and political pressure in recent years.

The club has often struggled with financial difficulties and has faced discrimination and unfair treatment from football authorities. Amedspor's matches have occasionally been marred by political tensions and incidents of violence, reflecting the deep societal divisions present in the region.

Despite these challenges, Amedspor has garnered a significant following and has become an important symbol of resilience and cultural identity for many Kurds. The club's fans are known for their passionate support and their commitment to advocating for Kurdish rights and equality in Turkish football.