Turkish military officer targets Kurd's popular football team, sparks reactions
The bar association of Turkey's Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakir filed a criminal complaint against a senior Turkish military officer who publicly targeted the most popular team of Kurds, Amedspor, before a game on Saturday.
Yilmaz Kirgel, the commander of the gendarmerie force in the central province of Afyon, told the players of Afyonspor before cameras that he "hoped, especially after the terror attack in Mersin, that they would crush" the opponent.
The deadly attack in Mersin had been carried out by two women members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Afyon İl Jandarma Komutanı Albay Yılmaz Kırgel, Afyonspor-Amedspor maçı öncesi yaptığı konuşmada, “Mersin'de yaşadığımız terör eyleminden sonra gönlümden geçeni söylüyorum: 5-0. Eze eze yenersiniz, buradan göndeririz” dedi https://t.co/ZWhR3tnZY5 pic.twitter.com/jqfcY5MUOw— Rudaw Türkçe (@RudawTurkce) October 1, 2022
"Your job is to play football, and you're doing it just fine. Leave the rest to us. Afyon really needs you to win. I'm telling you what I wish with all my heart, especially after the terror attack in Mersin: A score of 5-0. [I wish] you give them a crushing defeat before we send them back. Our hearts are with you."
While Kirgel later expressed regret that his remarks had been open to misinterpretations and that they were actually misunderstood, the visiting Amedspor ended the game with a tie of 1-1.
Diyarbakir Bar Association filed a criminal complaint against Kirgel on an accusation of "inciting vengeance and hate over differences in social, racial, religious and regional identities."