Turkey has issued an arrest warrant for former
Premier League footballer Hakan Sukur as part of
an ongoing investigation into the country’s failed
Sukur, who played for clubs including Galatasaray,
Inter Milan and Blackburn Rovers, is accused of
involvement in the failed 15 July coup that tried to
unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The warrant accuses the 44-year-old of “being a
member of an armed terror group,” the state-run
Andalou news agency said.
Police raided a house in Istanbul, believed to
belong to Sukur, as well as his father’s home in
Sakarya. The ex-striker’s father Sermet was not
found during the search.
Sukur – the Turkish national team’s record
goalscorer with 51 goals in 112 appearances – left
Turkey with his family last year, according to
After retiring from football in 2007, Sukur went into
politics and was elected as an MP for Mr
Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party
But he quit in 2013 after a corruption probe that
targeted Erdogan and his inner circle, choosing to
side with the Gulen movement.
Sukur was accused of insulting Erdogan on Twitter
in February, risking a four-year jail term.
He said he did not intend to target the president,
but prosecutors insisted the tweets were “clearly
related” to the Turkish leader.
Sukur achieved hero status in Turkey for his role
in the team that finished third in the 2002 World
Cup – where he scored the fastest goal in World
Cup history (10.8 seconds) against South Korea.
Erdogan has ordered a purge of tens of thousands
of soldiers, officials and bureaucrats since the coup
attempt, in which rogue troops commandeered
helicopters and jets.
after missing a deadline to return to Ankara
following the coup plot.
The country’s defence minister, Fikri Isik, said on
Friday that its role in the US-led campaign against
Islamic State would not be interrupted by the
dismissals and suspensions – which have included
around 40% of Turkish generals.