Turkish footballer Arda Turan receives suspended sentence over celebrity scuffle
(Updated with the statements of Özlem Ada Şahin, Berkay and Arda Turan.)
A Turkish court on Wednesday found footballer Arda Turan guilty of causing fear and panic by firing a gun, wounding someone with intent, and carrying an unregistered gun, Sabah daily reported.
The famous player’s two years, eight months and 15 days sentence was suspended, Sabah said.
Turkish prosecutors launched an investigation into former Barcelona player last year after singer Berkay and Berkay’s wife, Özlem Ada Şahin, filed a complaint against Turan for breaking Berkay’s nose.
According to singer Berkay and his wife, Turan approached Şahin during dinner to tell her he “would not miss out on a girl like her” if he had not been married.
Turan reportedly punched Berkay in the face, as the singer told wife that he was sending her home. Berkay was taken to the hospital for surgery on his nose.
Turan later took a gun to the hospital, where he said he asked Berkay for forgiveness. The hospital staff noticed bullet marks the next morning and called the police.
The court found Turan innocent of sexually harassing Şahin.
The court’s verdict was just one example of many that prevented women to live freely without being subject to sexual harassment, Şahin said in a written statement.
She said Turan was not found innocent, but acquitted on sexual harassment charges due to lack of evidence and she would continue to pursue the case.
“I want to say that I will stand behind my case and pursue it on behalf of every woman who has experienced similar events, or forced to experience them, or under is the risk of experiencing them and on behalf of every child that may grow up taking this person (Arda Turan) as role model, and to do away with this understanding,” Şahin said.
Her husband Berkay also said that they would appeal the court’s verdict.
Meanwhile, in a written statement he posted on Instagram, Turan said the court’s ruling proved his innocence against allegations of sexual harassment.
“I want everyone to know that what I experienced in defending my righteousness against a slander, particularly such a heavy and ugly slender, is the most difficult thing that can happen to a human being,” Turan said.