Turkish media watchdog to investigate TV5 for hosting world-famous ex-footballer facing terrorism charges

Turkish media watchdog to investigate TV5 for hosting world-famous ex-footballer facing terrorism charges
Update: 09 November 2022 17:45
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RTUK launched an investigation into TV5 for hosting UEFA Cup winner Turkish football player Hakan Sukur, who fled Turkey in 2015 over ties with Gulen movement

Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) has launched an investigation into TV5 channel for hosting Turkish ex-football star Hakan Sukur who has an arrest warrant by Turkish government for his ties with Gulen movement.

Ebubekir Sahin, the head of Turkey’s media watchdog announced the investigation into TV5 on Wednesday via a Twitter post.

“We will not allow a person who is an open supporter of an insidious terrorist organization targeting the survival of our country to be televised or to make a terrorist organization’s propaganda, which he is also a member,” Sahin said.

Sukur was a world-famous football player and a former member of the Turkish Parliament. 

Elected to the parliament for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party in 2011, he has left the AKP and moved to the United States in 2015, after Erdogan’s close relations with the religious Gulen movement have collapsed.  

A year later, Turkey blamed Fetullah Gulen, the leader of the movement for orchestrating a coup attempt to overthrow the Turkish government. Following the failed putsch of July 15, 2016, Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant for Sukur with charges of being a member of a terrorist organization and seized his assets in Turkey.

“Being doomed to politics should not be the destiny of the Turkish people,” Sukur told to Ali Kayaci, the host of the TV show called “Time to Think” on TV5.

The 51-year-old UEFA cup winner topped his career at Turkey’s Galatasaray Football Club, becoming Turkish league’s top goal scorer several times. Also playing for Torino in Italy and Blackburn Rovers in the United Kingdom, Sukur retired from football in 2008.

Following the coup attempt that Islamic cleric Gulen who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States denies the accusations of orchestrating it, Turkish government launched a crackdown on the group’s followers, detaining over 290,000 and imprisoning around 30,000 people.