Ex-St. Pauli footballer Şahin to train in Turkey
A Turkish footballer let go by a German club for supporting Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria now will be training in Turkey, announced Turkish club Medipol Başakşehir on Tuesday.
"Cenk Şahin requested to train on our premises to keep in playing shape. This is his home, so our door is open to him. I'm also proud of his social media comments," Göksel Gümüşdağ, the head of Medipol Başakşehir, said on the club website on Tuesday.
Şahin had played for top-tier Turkish league football club Medipol Başakşehir before joining German club St. Pauli.
"We Turks are united behind our rightful causes. l am proud of him [Şahin] for his spirited comment," said Gümüşdağ.
"There is no reason to be against it."
Şahin had written on Instagram: "We are standing by our heroic Turkish soldiers and army. Our prayers are with you!"
On Tuesday, Şahin declared himself "honored to be invited and supported by the Turkish club president."
On Monday St. Pauli released Şahin after an internal review of his social media posts, citing "his repeated disregard for the club's values and the need to protect the player."
"FC St. Pauli is granting Cenk Şahin permission to train with and play matches for other clubs," the club added.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.