Turkey Seeks to Arrest Soccer Legend as Purge Grows

Turkey Seeks to Arrest Soccer Legend as Purge Grows | Sukur believe dto have already left the country

Nearly a month after a failed military coup, Turkey’s “purge” continues to grow and target surprising aspects of society. The most recent targets are sports figures, with retired soccer star Hakan Sukur the latest to be sought on charges of membership in “an armed terror group,” which as always is the Gulen movement, which the government accuses of being behind the coup.

Sukur is considered a legend in Turkey, and a virtual household name for his role in Turkey’s third place finish in the 2002 World Cup. Since retired, he became a supporter of the ruling AKP Party, and was even elected as an MP from the party in 2011.

At the time, the AKP had positive ties with Gulen, and Sukur was part of the pro-Gulen wing of the party. When they split, he fell out of favor politically, and now officials are trying to round him up in the purge, though indications are he has already fled the country, likely to the US.

Sukur’s father wasn’t so lucky, however, and along with a court order to seize all of the soccer star’s assets in the country, his father was arrested on the same charges of being in league with Gulen. He is accused of providing financial support to Gulen.

Sukur isn’t the only sports figure facing the purge. Oklahoma City Thunder Center Enes Kanter, is under fire for publicly endorsing Gulen after the failed coup. Kanter’s parents, apparently unwilling to end up the same as Sukur’s father, have publicly disowned him. They accuse Gulen of having “hypnotized” the NBA star.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • lemur

    It’s like reading papers from the era of Stalin’s ascendence. This G├╝len guy must be Emmanuel Goldstein himself!

    Amazing how fast Turkey has gone to the crapper.

    • Strider73

      Not that amazing. Turkey, like any Muslim nation, was never more than a pebble’s throw from the crapper. The secular republic Ataturk founded was always fragile and depended on the military to preserve it, as earlier coups made clear. If Erdogan had not come along to topple it, someone else would have.

      When the coup failed and the purge began, I feared Inferno, Dan Brown’s latest novel starring Robert Langdon, would never be made into a movie since the last part takes place in Istanbul. Turns out the film has already been made and will be released in October. Close call!

  • eric

    Why Turkey has gone to a staged coup to get rid of its opposition ? How could anyone tell the difference ? Naturally Turkey would think the United States was involved because we are the ones that run color revolution all over the world .