Arrest warrant issued for ex-football star over coup attempt

hakan sukur arrest warrant

An arrest warrant for Hakan Şükür, a former football star striker, in the probe over the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), on Friday.

Şükür is accused by prosecutors in Sakarya province east of Istanbul of being a member of the organization of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. A similar warrant has also been issued for his father, Selmet Şükür.

The report said neither man had been found at their Istanbul and Sakarya residences after the warrant was issued, adding Şükür and his family had left Turkey last year. He is currently believed to be in the United States.

A striker whose football career stretched from 1987 to 2007, Şükür was by far the most prolific goal scorer in the history of the Turkish national side, finding the net 51 times in 112 appearances. Şükür was one of the stars of Turkey’s third place performance in the 2002 World Cup and a household name in the football-mad country.

After football, Şükür went into politics and was elected an MP with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2011. But he resigned in 2013 after a vast corruption probe that targeted senior government figures, siding with the Gülen movement.

Şükür had voiced objections to the government move to shut down schools run by the Gülen movement. He had in June gone on trial in absentia on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on social media.

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