Jun 05 2018

Turkish football club chairman gets Twitter ban for death threat to presidential candidate

The chairman of Gaziantepspor football club has been suspended from Twitter over threats made to a presidential candidate in the run-up June 24 elections, nationalist newspaper Yeniçağ said.

Hasan Şahin - @HasanSahinn27 on Twitter - found his account suspended after writing that he would “sacrifice” Good Party head and presidential candidate Meral Akşener for wearing the team’s scarf at a rally in the city of Gaziantep.

Akşener, he said, was a terrorist and a member of the Gülen movement, a religious sect the Turkish government says was behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

There is little evidence to suggest that Akşener has any links to the Gülen movement. Similar accusations have become a stock epithet wielded by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters against supporters of rival parties.

Şahin was subsequently suspended under the “harassment and threats” section of the Twitter rules.