Arrest warrant issued for six-Time Olympic swimmer Buyukuncu

After a series of ‘offensive tweets’ Turkish prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Buyukuncu after the swimmer Tweeted about the health of the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan.

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One of the first swimmers from any nation to compete in six Olympic Games is Derya Buyukuncu. The Turkish swimmer now finds himself in hot water after criticizing Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan and his wife announced they tested positive for COVID-19, saying they had “mild symptoms” caused by the Omicron variant.

In response to President Erdogan’s announcement, Buyukuncu tweeted about making Semolina Halva, which is a sweet dish that’s usually served at funerals in the country.

Turkish prosecutors have now issued an arrest warrant for Buyukuncu. His whereabouts are unknown but he currently lives in the United States, residing in Irvine, California.

The Turkish leader has also called for the arrest of journalists or others who criticize his country’s “fundamental values.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog talk during a welcoming ceremony in Ankara, Turkey March 9, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog talk during a welcoming ceremony in Ankara, Turkey March 9, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

“It is our duty to protect the respect of my office, of the presidency,” Erdoğan has said in the past. “It has nothing to do with freedom of expression.”

Buyukuncu won a bronze medal at the 2000 World Short Course Championships. He has also won numerous European Championship titles.

The swimmer, now 45, competed in the Olympics from 1992 to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He and Sweden’s Lars Frolander, became the first swimmers to compete in six Olympic Games.

During his Olympic career, Buyukuncu never made it past the prelims. In 2000, he finished 17th in the 100-meter backstroke. He is the Turkish record holder in the 200m backstroke in the short course.