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Turkish economist says he was detained for sharing anti-Erdogan football fans video Open in fullscreen

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Turkish economist says he was detained for sharing anti-Erdogan football fans video

Supporters of Besiktas during the football match against Medipol Basaksehir on April 13 [VI Images/Getty]

Date of publication: 14 April, 2019

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Mustafa Sonmez said he was accused of insulting the president for sharing a video of football fans celebrating in a bar shouting 'in your honour Tayyip (Erdogan)'.
A prominent Turkish economist said Sunday he was detained by Istanbul police as part of an investigation into whether he insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media.

Mustafa Sonmez said he was accused of insulting the president after he shared a video of Besitkas football clubs fans celebrating in a bar shouting "in your honour Tayyip (Erdogan)" with beers raised.

The Besiktas fans were celebrating after the team beat Istanbul's Basaksehir - which is owned by businessmen reputedly close to Erdogan - on Saturday 2-1.

Sonmez, who has previously criticised the government over its policies, said on Twitter that he was detained at around 3am (midnight GMT), but released a few hours later.

Sonmez was also accused of "provoking enmity and hate" in another tweet on Saturday after he wrote: "How wonderful, on 31 March, you beat the AKP (Erdogan's ruling party); on 13 April, you beat the AKP's football team, Basaksehir. Glorious Allah (God) gives and gives."

The AKP suffered a blow in local elections on 31 March, where it lost to the opposition in both the capital Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey's largest city.

The ruling party has called for the election in Istanbul to be repeated.

The DHA news agency reported that Sonmez had given a statement to the prosecutor, but the status of the investigation against him was not clear.

Thousands of Turkish citizens, from a top model to high school students, have been prosecuted on charges of insulting Erdogan since he became president in 2014.

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