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Israeli Soccer Player Detained in Turkey for Pro-Israel Message on Field | World News – Times of India

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ISTANBUL: Israeli soccer player was briefly detained by Turkish authorities and suspended by his club after he displayed a message of support for Israel during a game Sunday. The player, Sagiv Jehezkel, 28, a wing for the top-division club Antalyaspor, flashed the message after he scored in a match.
To celebrate his goal, Jehezkel jogged to the corner of the field, where a group of photographers was positioned. He pointed to a handwritten message on a band of tape on his left wrist that included a six-pointed Star of David and “100 days, 7/10” – a reference to the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct 7.
His gesture spread quickly on social media, stirring outrage. Turkish society is broadly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. The company that sponsors Antalyaspor’s jerseys declared it would withdraw the support if the club didn’t take action, and a small group of fans gathered in front of Antalyaspor’s facilities in the province of Antalya and chanted for his expulsion. Turkish prosecutors detained Jehezkel after the game in the southwestern city of Antalya for “instigating hatred and enmity among the public.” He was released on Monday, and and returned to Israel later in the night.
Jehezkel, in his statement to prosecutors, said his message was a call for the war to end.
On Sunday, the president of Antalyaspor, Sinan Boztepe, said the club’s board had suspended Jehezkel from the team. In a statement, the club charged that Jehezkel had “insulted the values of Turkiye.” Team officials also said they would seek to terminate the three-year contract Jehezkel signed when he joined Antalyaspor in September. The Turkish soccer federation also said that it had initiated disciplinary proceedings.
Israeli officials responded angrily to his detention, and to a separate incident in which another club in the Turkish league, Basaksehir, began disciplinary proceedings against Israeli player Eden Karzev after he shared a post on Instagram calling for the release of the hostages held in Gaza. Israel’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant, called Jehezkel’s arrest “scandalous”, and foreign minister, Israel Katz, criticised Turkiye for “working against humane values and sports values.”
Katz called on other nations and international sports organisations to take action against Turkiye. Reaction from athletes to the Gaza war has caused controversy in Germany and France too, where players with Arabic ancestry have faced professional consequences – and even legal action – for online posts.





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