By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) - German football club St. Pauli on Monday released a Turkish footballer over social media comment supporting Turkey’s current anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
Cenk Sahin was released after an internal review of an Instagram post by Sahin, said a club statement, citing “his repeated disregard for the club’s values and the need to protect the player."
"The existing contract will remain valid in the first instance. For the protection of all the parties involved, FC St. Pauli is granting Cenk Sahin permission to train with and play matches for other clubs," the club said.
On Friday, St. Pauli criticized Sahin's Instagram post supporting the anti-terror operation.
"We are standing by our heroic Turkish soldiers and army. Our prayers are with you!" Sahin wrote.
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.