Ex-Fenerbahce player Sezer Ozturk could serve up to 32 years in prison after allegedly shooting a dad-of-two dead during a road rage incident in Istanbul.
The former player has been accused of shooting and killing Halil Ibrahim Scholten with an unlicensed firearm in September last year.
The tragic incident involving Ozturk is believed to have happened following a family trip to a local zoo.
Ozturk, who was travelling with his family and a close friend, was returning to a rented property when he encountered several vehicles blocking his path.
Speaking to the court, the German-born ex-pro said: “Because I had my family with me, I stayed calm, but my one-and-a-half-year-old child was crying in the car, I had to go home. There was no other way to go.
“And then finally someone stuck his head in the window on my wife’s side of the car and cursed.
“We do not use foul language when there are women and children around. We live for our honour.
“I took his insults in my stride because I realised that they were drunk. I got out of the car when I realised that one of them opened the back door.
“As soon as I got out, someone punched me, they started hitting me with the wheel wrench. Someone threw a chair at me.
“I learned that the deceased also had two children, but I did not initiate this, I am not responsible for it.”
Ozturk also added: “There were 15 to 20 drunk people in front of us and we were fighting with our spouses against them.”
Further details of the case include the group dispersing but a white pickup truck being driven at Ozturk causing his foot to become crushed.
Ozturk then took his family home before going to the hospital with his friend only to bump into the same group of 20 people – this time all carrying weapons.
The former player’s friend then approached the group and allegedly said: “Brother, there is a gun.” which is when Ozturk opened fire – firing 10 – 12 shells into the air with one, unfortunately, catching Scholten.
Ozturk then claims to have been attacked by the group and admitted to fearing for his life – expecting the group to kill him.
Ozturk now stands accused of ‘deliberately killing under unjust provocation’, ‘deliberately wounding with a gun under unjust provocation’, ‘damaging property under unjust provocation’, ‘repeatedly threatening with a gun’, and ‘possession of an unlicensed weapon’.
If found guilty, the 36-year-old, on the recommendation of the Public Prosecutor, could be sentenced to as many as 32 years behind bars.