Israeli footballer returning home after Turkish arrest over pro-Israel display
A Turkish court on Monday released an Israeli footballer who was detained overnight and accused of incitement to hate by displaying a message about Israel’s war on Gaza during a first-division match.
Sagiv Jehezkel, 28, held up a bandage on his wrist reading “100 days. 07/10” next to a Star of David when he celebrated scoring a goal for Antalyaspor against Trabzonspor on Sunday.
Turkish prosecutors launched a criminal investigation for alleged “incitement to hate and hostility” and his club tore up the forward’s contract for “exhibiting behaviour that goes against our country’s sensitivities”.
Israel condemned Jehezkel’s detention, sending already strained relations between the two regional powers to a new low.
“I call on the international community and the international sports organisations to act against Turkey and against its political use of violence and threats against athletes,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, whose country had earlier advised Israeli citizens to leave Turkey as a security precaution.