Kurdish footballer convicted of 'terrorist propaganda' in Turkey shot at in Germany

Kurdish footballer convicted of 'terrorist propaganda' in Turkey shot at in Germany
By Emma Beswick
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Last summer, Kurdish-German footballer Deniz Naki was beaten by a spectator during a match.


Amed SK player Deniz Naki, who was found guilty of promoting terrorist propaganda for the PKK in Turkey, said his car was shot at last night as he visited family in Germany

He told German daily newspaper WELT that he was driving near Düren when shots were fired from a black station wagon.

"I immediately ducked down and then rolled right onto the hard shoulder. I was scared to death," he said.

The former St Pauli and Paderborn midfielder shared pictures of bullet holes on his vehicle near the window and tyre.

He said that the station wagon drove away after the shots were fired.

Naki told WELT that he thought the incident occurred because of his political activities in Turkey.

Hamburg left-wing politician Cansu Özdemir tweeted about the incident.

*"About an hour ago, there was an assassination attempt on former Pauli player and captain of the Kurdish football club Amed Spor Deniz Naki. It happened on the highway in NRW (*North Rhine-Westphalia) a regional, he was shot at while driving. He is fortunately unhurt!"

A spokeswoman for the Aachen prosecutor, Katja Schlenkermann-PittsAfter, said a homicide squad had been informed to investigate the attack.

"Around 11 pm shots were fired at the football player's car on the A4 in the direction of Cologne. We're investigating an attempted homicidal offence," she said.

The Kurdish-German footballer was given a suspended 18-month jail sentence in Turkey last April for criticizing the government's operations against Kurdish militants.

Naki denied any wrongdoing. "I gave a message of peace. I said I was against the war and I have been punished for this," he said after the hearing.

"I am someone in love with peace and I will always give this message. I am ready to pay the price whatever it is."

He was visiting his family in Germany when the incident occurred but will return to Turkey in the coming days.

Last summer, Naki was beaten by a spectator during a match.

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