Turkey's sports minister slams Galatasaray over Gulen group linked members

Turkey's sports minister slams Galatasaray over Gulen group linked members
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Published March 26th, 2017 - 19:10 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Hakan Sukur
Hakan Sukur

Turkey’s sports minister late Saturday criticized a top football team’s decision not to disown two former players publicly known to have ties with a "terror group".

Galatasaray management board voted in its annual meeting Saturday to expel several members of the club due to their alleged or established links with Fetullah Gulen group which is accused of orchestrating last July’s deadly coup attempt.

The members expelled after the vote included jailed former Istanbul Mayor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and former judiciary member Zekeriya Oz, among others.

But Hakan Sukur and Arif Erdem, two former Galatasaray players with international caps, were voted to remain part of the club's membership.

Turkey's Sports and Youth Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic expressed discontent with the decision, saying: "The Galatasaray board need to correct the issue immediately.

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

"The board's voting is inexplicable to the families of our martyrs and veterans," he added.

Both Sukur and Erdem were in the celebrated squad that won the UEFA Cup in 2000.

They are also known to be supporters of group leader Fetullah Gulen, who Ankara says masterminded the July 15 coup attempt.

(Text edited by Albawaba)

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