Hakan Sukur

Ankara, Aug 12 (IANS) A Turkish court on Friday ruled for the seizure of property and possessions owned by famous ex-footballer Hakan Sukur and his father after identifying the two as providing financial support to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO) as part of a probe.

Sukur is worth 200 million Turkish Liras ($66 million), reports Xinhua.

The decision by a court in the western province of Sakarya came a day after prosecutors’ issued warrants for footballer-turned-politician Hakan Sukur and his father Selmet Sukur over alleged links to FETO.

While Hakan Sukur was reported to have fled to the United States, Selmet Sukur was detained on August 12 after being caught in a mosque in the province’s Adapazari distrcit.

Finding that the father and son had been providing financial support to the organisation, which was blamed for orchestrating the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey after years of infiltration into the military, the court ruled for the seizure of their real estate properties.

According to the inspection, the Sukurs had a number of real estate properties across the country, with apartments in Sakarya, Antalya, Bodrum and Istanbul in addition to buildings in Adapazari and Sapanca and fields in Kandira. Officers have also found that Selmet Sukur built luxury villas on a 10 decare-field in the Serdivan district of Sakarya.

Tax inspectors have also found that Hakan Sukur used to own a preparatory school that was closed as part of a previous FETO probe in central Adapazari.

Sukur is accused by prosecutors in Sakarya province east of Istanbul of being a member of the organisation of the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Sukur 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.

A striker whose football career stretched from 1987 to 2007, Sukur was by far the most prolific goal scorer in the history of the Turkish national side, finding the net 51 times in 112 appearances.

He was a stalwart player for Istanbul side Galatasaray but also had stints abroad for Inter Milan, Parma and Blackburn Rovers.

His goal after just 11 seconds of play against South Korea in 2002 remains the fastest goal in World Cup’s history.

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