Turkey seeks ex-foot­baller ar­rest in coup probe

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

TURKEY has is­sued an ar­rest war­rant for Hakan Sukur, a for­mer in­ter­na­tional football star and par­lia­ment mem­ber, as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the failed July 15 coup at­tempt, ac­cord­ing to state me­dia.

Sukur was ac­cused on Fri­day by prose­cu­tors in Sakarya, a prov­ince east of Is­tan­bul, of be­ing a mem­ber of the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the US-based preacher Fethul­lah Gulen, ac­cused by Turkey of or­ches­trat­ing the coup plot. His ar­rest is sought on charges of “mem­ber­ship of an armed ter­ror group”, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, re­fer­ring to what Turkey calls the Fethul­lahist Ter­ror Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FETO).

Gulen de­nies such a group ex­ists and ac­cu­sa­tions he was the mas­ter­mind be­hind the coup at­tempt.

Anadolu said a sim­i­lar war­rant had also been is­sued for Sel­met Sukur, fa­ther of Hakan Sukur.

The re­port said nei­ther of them had been found at their Is­tan­bul and Sakarya res­i­dences af­ter the war­rant was is­sued. It said Sukur and his fam­ily had left Turkey last year. He is cur­rently be­lieved to be in the US. Sukur was one of the stars of Turkey’s third-place performance in the 2002 football World Cup and a renowned name in the coun­try, where the sport is highly pop­u­lar.

A striker whose football ca­reer stretched from 1987 to 2007, Sukur was by far the most pro­lific goal scorer in the his­tory of the Turk­ish na­tional side, find­ing the net 51 times in 112 ap­pear­ances. He was a for­ward player for the Is­tan­bul team Galatasaray but also had stints abroad for In­ter Mi­lan, Parma and Black­burn Rovers.

Af­ter football, Sukur went into pol­i­tics and was elected an MP for Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s rul­ing Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party (AKP) in 2011.

How­ever, he re­signed in 2013 af­ter a cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion tar­geted Er­do­gan and his in­ner cir­cle, sid­ing with the net­work of Gulen, who in re­cent years has be­come Er­do­gan’s arch­en­emy from close ally.

Sukur had voiced ob­jec­tions to the govern­ment’s move to shut down schools run by Gulen’s or­gan­i­sa­tion, Hizmet, which means ser­vice in Turk­ish.

He had gone on trial in ab­sen­tia in June on charges of in­sult­ing Er­do­gan on so­cial me­dia. — AFP

Malaw­ian jailed for sleep­ing with daugh­ter to ‘cure’ epilepsy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.