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Deniz Naki's terrorist propaganda charges dropped by Turkish court

Deniz Naki currently plays for Amed SK.

Proceedings against former Germany under-21 international Deniz Naki over terrorist propaganda charges have been closed by a Turkish court.

Naki, a Kurd currently playing for Turkish third-tier outfit Amed SK, had been awaiting trial in the Kurdish city of Diybarkir.

The 27-year-old had been charged with seven counts of terrorist propaganda on social networks following investigations by Diyarbakir's chief public prosecutor.

However, on Tuesday the judge at the court in Diyarbakir closed proceedings following the public prosecutor's line of argument, which, according to trial observer and German politician Jan van Aken as reported by dpa, cited freedom of expression.

"I am happy and relieved. The way things have developed in Turkey, I could not expect to be acquitted of the charges," Naki was quoted as saying by Spiegel Online.

Van Aken added that "international pressure worked for once."

Naki's case received a lot of attention in Germany. This week, Der Spiegel published an article on the former St Pauli player, who holds two passports, while ARD ran several stories on him.

Alongside politicians from Germany's left-wing party Die Linke, a member of the German embassy in Ankara also attended the trial as an observer.

In a feature published before the trial, Naki told that he "expects the worst, one to five years in prison," and added that he did not want to leave the country because he did "nothing wrong" and was "in the right."

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


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