Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot
Turkish cartoon showing Israeli soccer star Sagiv Yehezkel as a bloodthirsty monster.

The Antalyaspor soccer club located in the city of Antalya, Turkey, has discontinued the contract of its Israeli player Sagiv Yehezkel over a gesture that went against “national values,” Anadolu reported on Sunday.

Antalyaspor issued a statement saying, “Sagiv Yehezkel, following his goal in the 68th minute during the match against Trabzonspor, has been deemed to have acted against our country’s national values by sharing an inscription on his wrist. In response, the board of directors has decided to exclude him from the squad.”


By the way, the Israeli player saved Antalyaspor from humiliation after Trabzonspor had scored in the second minute of the match.

Hey, Maccabi Tel Aviv is in the market for a decent striker. The way they’ve been playing recently, they can use all the help they can get (lost to Maccabi Haifa 1-0 last Wednesday, and barely tied with Bnei Reineh 2-2 Sunday night).

The top-league club (currently in 7th place) insisted it would not tolerate behavior that goes against the country’s sensitivities, regardless of the potential for a championship or cup victory. Yehezkel shared a message of solidarity with Israel by raising his bandaged hand after scoring a goal against Trabzonspor on Sunday. A closer examination of the photo revealed a tiny script on the bandage that read, “100 days since 7/10.”

A spokesperson for the club announced that the lawyers are working on terminating Yehezkel’s contract.

Turkish Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç also condemned the player and announced that a legal investigation had been launched against him for “public incitement to hatred and hostility due to his ugly action that supports the massacre.”

That’s when it began to spiral. Overnight Monday, Yehezkel was detained for interrogation in Antalya, and a Turkish prosecutor launched an investigation against him on suspicion of “supporting the Israeli massacres in Gaza and inciting the public.”

Yehezkel told Ynet that he wanted to make a humanitarian gesture and did not intend to provoke anyone. “It was important for me to point out that the hostages have been in captivity for 100 days. I had no intention to provoke or express a position on the matter. I know the sensitivity in Turkey, it was a pure gesture.”

“Throughout my time in Turkey I did not express any position on the issue,” Yehezkel said. “When the head of the club informed me about a ceremony to commemorate the dead in Gaza before a game in Gaziantep, and they allowed me not to come, I stayed in Antalya and everything was fine.

“All I did was mark half a heart and write the number 100. It was not meant to provoke, on the contrary. I expressed empathy for the hostages who have been there for so many days. I made sure throughout my time to be focused only on soccer.”

Several Israeli players participate in Turkey’s soccer and basketball leagues, and the Turkish social networks are already buzzing with their sharing of various posts commemorating the 100 days since the abduction of the hostages.

In three months, Erdogan’s Turkey has reverted to where it was back in 2010, with insane antisemitic attacks on the Jewish State. Israel’s foreign ministry has banned Israeli tourists from going to Turkey, and it does not appear as if too many are interested.

More Israelis for those dreamy beaches of Crete.


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