The Turkish court has released the footballer Sagiv Yehezkel after he was arrested following a tribute dedicated to the captives during a football game in the country. After diplomatic efforts and other factors, he is expected to return to Israel today.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz addressed the incident, stating that "Turkey has become a dark dictatorship, acting against human values and sports ethics. Anyone who arrests a footballer for an act of solidarity with 136 captives held for over 100 days by murderous terrorist organizations represents a culture of murder and hatred.
"I call on the international community and international sports organizations to act against Turkey and its political use of violence and threats against athletes. Today it's Sagiv Yehezkel, tomorrow it's another athlete."
Earlier, transcripts from the investigation were released in Turkey, where Yehezkel stated, 'I did not make any move to encourage anyone. I am not a supporter of war. I am a person who believes that this period of 100 days should end now. I want the war to end.'
The headline that entangled Yehezkel
As a reminder, Yehezkel, who plays for the Turkish team Antalyaspor, scored a goal last night dedicating it to the captives. He raised his hand with a ribbon tied to a movie where 'kidnapped 7.10' was written. In response, the team's president, Sinan Boztepe, decided that "the contract with Sagiv Yehezkel will be cancelled."
Just hours after the game, the Turkish team announced its decision to suspend him from all activity, stating that he "violated Turkey's national values." Following this, the president's message came: "Our national values are above everything. No matter what a football player brings us, we will end his contract and part ways with him."
A few hours later, Israeli footballer Sagiv Yehezkel was arrested at his home by three police officers, and taken for questioning, on "suspicions of inciting the Turkish public and supporting Israel's actions on 7/10."