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.