An arrest warrant for Hakan ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r, 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 (FETÃ–), on Friday.
ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r 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 GÃ¼len. A similar warrant has also been issued for his father, Selmet ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r.
The report said neither man had been found at their Istanbul and Sakarya residences after the warrant was issued, adding ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r 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, ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r was by far the most prolific goal scorer in the history of the Turkish national side, finding the net 51 times in 112 appearances. ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r was one of the stars of Turkeyâ€™s third place performance in the 2002 World Cup and a household name in the football-mad country.
After football, ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r 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 GÃ¼len movement.
ÅžÃ¼kÃ¼r had voiced objections to the government move to shut down schools run by the GÃ¼len movement. He had in June gone on trial in absentia on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on social media.