New York’s Best Pizza Cook Arrested In Turkey

hakki akdeniz pizza new york
Hakki Akdeniz represented the U.S. in World Pizza Championship in 2010 and won gold medal.

New York’s famed pizza cook Hakki Akdeniz was detained with his wife in Diyarbakir, Turkey on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear what type of charges the couple was facing.

Mr. Akdeniz, originally from Turkey’s largest Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, owns eight pizza shops and one Mexican restaurant in New York. He was homeless in Manhattan for several years, prior to becoming a pizza entrepreneur.

Mr. Akdeniz rose to fame for his acrobatics-style pizza-making.

In 2010, he represented the U.S. in the World Pizza Championship in France and received a gold medal. Mr. Akdeniz was on vacation in his hometown when the Turkish authorities detained him late in the evening.

Since the attempted military coup in 2016, Turkey has also arrested a baklava-seller, a comedian, and a NASA scientist.