Cenk Sahin Released by St. Pauli After Support for Turkey's Actions in Syria

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIOctober 14, 2019

ZELL AM ZILLER, AUSTRIA - JULY 10: Cenk Sahin of FC St. Pauli looks on during the pre-season friendly match between WSG Swarovski Wattens and FC St. Pauli at Lindenstadion on July 10, 2019 in Hippach near Zell am Ziller, Austria. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Turkish midfielder Cenk Sahin has been released by Bundesliga 2 side St. Pauli after showing his support for Turkey's military actions in Syria:

FC St. Pauli English @fcstpauli_EN

Cenk #Sahin released with immediate effect. Details 👇🏼 #fcsp https://t.co/EW6KFzYfoA

The 25-year-old posted a photograph on Instagram of the Turkish flag with a caption expressing support for Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held regions in Syria, according to the Daily Sabah

Turkey's Operation Peace Spring was launched Wednesday and is aimed at eliminating Kurdish forces along the border and resettling Syrian refugees.

The German side explained their decision to release the 25-year-old in a statement posted on their official club website:

"The internal review of Cenk Sahin's Instagram post on the deployment of the Turkish army in Syria has been completed. After further talks between club officials and the player, Cenk Sahin has been released from his training and playing duties with immediate effect. The prime factors in reaching the decisions were his repeated disregard for the club’s values and the need to protect the player."

"After numerous discussions with fans, members and friends whose roots lie in Turkey, it has become clear to us that we cannot and should not attempt to gauge nuances in perceptions and attitudes from other cultural backgrounds in detail. That we reject acts of war is not open to doubt or discussion, however. These acts, and the expression of solidarity with them, run counter to the values of the club."

The club also added that Sahin's contract with St. Pauli remains "valid" but he has been given permission to train and play for other teams.

Sahin's Instagram post drew criticism from supporters, who accused the midfielder of being a "war-supporter," per the Daily Sabah.

ESPN's Eren Sarigul offered his thoughts on St. Pauli's decision to release Sahin:

Eren Sarigul @_ErenSarigul

Just to add to this, the player is entitled to free-speech. He hasn't broken any rules or discriminated against anybody. The club just don't like what he said so they sacked him. It's a slippery slope, given their history, the Germans should know better.

Sahin joined St. Pauli from Istanbul Basaksehir in 2017 after a loan spell with the club. Although he has been granted permission to play for another club he will be unable to secure a move until the winter transfer window reopens.