Hakan Sukur is Turkey’s largest ever goalscorer and as soon as one among Europe’s maximum prolific strikers. A legend.
So, how did he finally end up riding taxis and promoting books for a dwelling in america, in exile from his house nation?
In step with an interview with German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, the 48-year-old former striker’s lifestyles has taken an ordinary and troubling flip since retiring from soccer in 2008.
He claims rift with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has uncovered him to loss of life threats, false accusations and loss of get right of entry to to price range.
‘I’ve not anything left, Erdogan took the whole thing: my proper to liberty, freedom of expression and proper to paintings,” he advised the paper.
Sukur scored 51 targets in 112 appearances for Turkey between 1992 and 2007. He was once a part of the Turkish facet that completed 3rd on the 2002 International Cup.
The previous Blackburn participant spent the vast majority of his profession at Galatasaray and is the best-ever main goalscorer within the Tremendous Lig – the Turkish best flight.
After retiring from soccer, he went into politics. In 2011, Sukur received a seat in Turkey’s Parliament as a member of Erdogan’s Justice and Building Birthday party .
However he was once additionally tied to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic student and rival of Erdogan, whom the Turkish President blamed for a bloody tried coup in 2016.
Sukur, by way of then dwelling in america, reportedly denounced the tried coup, however was once however, in 2017, described by way of Turkish-run state media as a “fugitive member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).”
That file describes him dwelling in a $3m area, working a restaurant at Palo Alto, “the richest house of San Francisco Bay Space.”
Sukur tells a much less fun-sounding tale.
“I moved to the US, to start with working a restaurant in California, however unusual other people stored getting into the bar,” he advised Welt am Sonntag. “Now I force for Uber and I promote books.”
He has stated that his properties, companies and financial institution accounts in Turkey had all been seized by way of Erdogan’s govt.
He additionally denies any crimes.
“No one turns out in a position to give an explanation for what my function on this coup was once intended to be,” he added. “I by no means did the rest unlawful, It’s not that i am a traitor or a terrorist.”
This isn’t the primary time he is spoken at the matter. In 2018 he advised the New York Instances: “It is my nation; I like my other people, despite the fact that their concepts about me are distorted by way of managed media.”
The tale throws up extra questions on Erdogan’s govt. In 2018, Mesut Ozil attracted complaint after posing for an image with the Turkish President, together with from the German Soccer Federation (DFB), which stated “soccer and the DFB shield values which aren’t sufficiently revered by way of Mr Erdogan”.
Erdogan was once therefore perfect guy at Ozil’s wedding ceremony.
Politics and recreation whats up? A thorny trade.