Prosecutors call for 15-year jail term for Galatasaray star’s father

Prosecutors have called for the father of the famous former footballer Hakan Şükür to be jailed for 15 years for being a member of an “armed terrorist group.”

The five-page indictment was handed into the 4th Heavy Penal Court in Sakarya, which is about 140 kilometers east of Istanbul.

According to the indictment, Selmet Şükür was denounced by an informant, identified only as X1 and who accused him of “laundering money for the banned Gülen movement in Turkey through the construction of various buildings on behalf of his son Hakan Şükür.” Famous soccer player Hakan Şükür is himself on the wanted list of Turkish authorities as he is classified as a Gülenist.

Şükür’s father was taken into custody over his alleged links with the Gülenist movement on August 12, 2016. He was released on November 25, 2016 on the condition that he be kept under house arrest and banned from leaving Turkey.

Turkey’s government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labels the movement founded by exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen a terrorist organization and has given it the name the FETO. No other country recognizes it as a terrorist organization.

Hakan Şükür was Turkey’s most prolific goal scorer, scoring 51 goals for his country as well as netting the fasted goal ever scored in a World Cup, when his strike found the back of the net in 10.8 seconds into the third-place playoff against South Korea at the 2002 World.

Hakan Şükür, holding UEFA cup when Galatasaray won it on 2000. (Photo: Archive)

Both Gülen and Erdogan, who was mayor of Istanbul at the time, performed the ceremony at Şükür’s wedding to his first wife Esra Elbirlik and Gülen was the witness.

Known as the Bull of the Bosphorus, the Galatasaray star went into politics when his career ended, standing as a Member of the Parliament for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2011.

Hakan Şükür as an MP for the ruling AK Party in 2011. (Photo: Guncel724)

However, when a corruption scandal erupted in 2013 implicating several ministers, their sons, as well as Erdogan’s son, Erdogan blamed the Gülenist movement.

Hakan Şükür left the AK Party and was later charged with insulting President Erdogan on Twitter in February 2016. He subsequently fled Turkey in November 2017 and reportedly runs a patisserie in San Francisco.

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