Social media may not be a place of total freedom anymore as former Turkey international Hakan Sukur could face four years in jail for allegedly insulting the country’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter.
The 44-year-old former Galatasaray forward is charged with tweeting ‘insulting content’ against Erdogan and his son from his own personal account.
Sukur, who is Turkey’s record goalscorer has said he did not intend to target the president in the posts, but the prosecutors say the tweets were ‘clearly related’ to Erdogan.
If Sukur is convicted, he could spend as long as four years behind bars. A first hearing is expected to commence in the next few weeks.
He went into politics after retiring, being elected as an MP for Erdogan’s Justice and Development party in 2011, but resigned just two years later after a corruption probe targeting Erdogan and his inner circle.
Sukur is one of a string of journalists, bloggers and tweeters being targeted in the legal case for allegedly insulting Erdogan.
Sukur enjoyed a successful career from 1987 to 2007, where he struck 51 times in 112 outings for his country, and will be remembered for his performances at the 2002 World Cup, where Turkey finished third.