Galatasaray told to detail FETO links of sacked players

Erdogan says expulsion notice should have mentioned links of ex-players Hakan Sukur and Arif Erdem with FETO

Galatasaray told to detail FETO links of sacked players

World Bulletin / News Desk

 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed Galatsaray Sport Club for saying that it expelled two former players for non-payment of dues, instead of specifying the bigger charge of known ties with a terrorist group.

In an interview aired on local Haberturk news channel on Monday, Erdogan said the expulsion notice should have mentioned the links of ex-players Hakan Sukur and Arif Erdem with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) as well as non-payment of club dues.

"I find Galatsaray administration’s decision which just linked them to non-payment of club dues as underwhelming," he said.

He said the club could have gotten information on Sukur and Erdem from the trial court where the duo face terror charges.

He told the football club to fill the gaps in the reason given for their expulsion.

Galatasaray's management voted on Sunday in an extraordinary meeting to cancel the memberships of Sukur and Erdem.

On Saturday, the club's board in its annual meeting had expelled several members due to their alleged or established links with FETO, including former Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and former judiciary member Zekeriya Oz. However, Sukur and Erdem were allowed to remain part of the club's membership.

On Saturday, Sports and Youth Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic had also voiced his disapproval of the decision, saying: "The Galatasaray board needs to correct the issue immediately.

"Traitors to our country and our state have no business in our established sports clubs,” Kilic said.

Sukur and Erdem were in the celebrated football team that won the UEFA Cup in 2000.

They are known supporters of FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of masterminding last year’s defeated coup.

On July 15, 2016, sections of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government. Pro-coup soldiers linked to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) opened fire on civilians in Ankara and Istanbul. Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest.

Turkey’s parliament building, as well as many other state institutions, were also hit by airstrikes.

The coup attempt, which was defeated in less than 24 hours, left 249 people martyred and thousands of others injured.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mart 2017, 08:40