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Deniz Naki given 18-month suspended sentence for 'terrorist propaganda'

Deniz Naki currently plays for Amed SK in the Turkish second division.

Former Germany under-21 international Deniz Naki has been given a suspended 18-month prison sentence in Diyarbakir, Turkey, for promoting "terrorist propaganda."

Naki, 27, was found of guilty on Wednesday and sentenced to serve 18 months and 22 days in jail, with the prison term suspended for five years.

The attacking midfielder, who played in the Bundesliga for St. Pauli, had been acquitted by the same court in Diyarbakir in November, but the prosecution appealed against the verdict.

The Germany-born player of Kurdish descent, who now plays for Amed SK in the Turkish second division, had been charged with seven counts of terrorist propaganda on social networks, and in the appeal proceeding was sentenced to the suspended prison term.

"The verdict's s---, I believe," Naki told German tabloid Bild. "I'd like to think that I will end up in jail. I will continue to have an opinion when I see people suffer want."

According to the paper, Naki and his lawyers are considering appealing the verdict.

St. Pauli president Oke Gottlich wished Naki "strength in his commitment for liberty, freedom and humanity" on the club's official Twitter account.

Fabio de Masi, a member of the European parliament for German's left-wing party Die Linke, added in Bild: "You could see the political pressure behind it. Naki is the chicken which was plucked. The verdict had to act as a deterrent."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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