Turkish footballer, Aykut Demir who refused to wear a t-shirt supporting Ukraine amid the invasion of the country by the Russian military revealed that he decided not to wear the shirt because it was not made for the people dying in the middle east.
On Sunday, February 27, 2022, Turkish second-tier club, Erzurumspor faced Ankaragucu in a league game. Ahead of the game, the two teams agreed to wear a “No War” t-shirt in solidarity with Ukraine, an east-European country that is currently at war with Russia.
To the dismay of many football enthusiasts who followed the game, only Aykut Demir who captained Erzurumspor failed to wear the exhibition t-shirt.
When pictures of the scene surfaced on social media, many people criticized him for deciding not to show solidarity with Ukraine which is currently being invaded by Russia. While few others supported him for calling the attention of the world to the double-standard practiced by the “western world”.
The captain of Erzurumspor, Aykut Demir, refuses to wear the peace message shirt for Ukraine-Russia. ️ "Thousands of people die every day in the Middle East (conflict). They are silent about it, but suddenly do this when something similar is happening in Europe," he said. pic.twitter.com/OitDu2Gsbw— 🤫Alx The-Whisperer🤫 (@alexander_sakti) March 1, 2022
After the game which ended 1-0 in favor of Ankaragucu, Aykut Demir had to explain why he decided not to wear the solidarity t-shirt.
In his explanation, Demir stressed that he decided not to wear the t-shirt because he perceived that the support Ukraine is currently enjoying should have been the same support shown to countries in the middle east that are also suffering the plight of war.
“Thousands of people die every day in the Middle East,” he told Football Anatolia, according to Fanatik.
“I feel sad too. I share the pain of innocent people.
“Those who ignore the persecution there are doing these things when it comes to Europe.
“I did not like to wear the T-shirt because it was not made for those countries.”
Who is Aykut Demir?
Aykut Demir was born in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands on 22 October 1988 to Turkish parents. He started his professional football career with the Dutch club NAC Breda on January 1, 2006.
The 33-year-old Turkish defender migrated to Turkey on July 10, 2013, after he left Genclerbirligi for Trabzonspor on a transfer fee worth €2.90 million.
Aykut Demir made his debut with Turkey national team on November 19, 2013. Unfortunately for him, that was the first and the last time he played for the national team.
Demir played for a series of Turkish clubs before he joined his current club Erzurumspor on a free transfer from Boluspor on August 5, 2021. His contract with the second-tier club will expire on June 30, 2022.
According to transfermarkt.com, Demir’s transfer market value is just €100,000. He has played 20 times and has scored a goal so far in the 2021-2022 season.
It is believed that Demir has ties with religious groups that have extremist views. That aspect of the Turkish footballer is said to be the most controversial part of his life.
Reports claimed that the net worth of Aykut Demir is between two to five million dollars. At the time of publishing this report, there was no report about Demir’s wife and children.