November 2, 2014

Former AK Party deputy Şükür reveals gov't job offer

Hakan Şükür, a Turkish member of Parliament and former international football player expressed that before his resignation from the AK party, a high-level ministry position was offered to him.

Hakan Sukur
World-renown former football star, İstanbul deputy Hakan Şükür

In an interview to Aksiyon magazine, the former famous international football player and, until recently, deputy for the ruling AK Party (Justice and Development Party) Hakan Şükür talked about how he decided to quit his party.

Parliamentarian deputy Şükür revealed that three weeks before his resignation, notable party officials from the Prime Ministry's inner circle informed him about a high-level ministry job, and asked him to prepare.

Although the offer was quite appealing, the recent developments in Turkey’s agenda, including the government’s decision to close all privately-owned prep schools, made his mind up to leave the AK Party on December 16, 2013, a day before last year's famous anti-corruption inquiry went public. “The day when I resigned, party politicians called my relatives to ask them to pursue me to change my mind, to remind me that they had offered a ministry post.”

"I didn't resign by Gülen's order"

He noted that he didn't regret being involved in politics. Şükür underlined that he thought of resigning several times before the prep schools' closure came to the agenda. But when he discussed his resign decision with Fethullah Gülen, a prominent scholar whom he respected, he advised him to continue while good developments happen in Turkey. For that reason, Şükür rejected all claims that Gülen had ordered him to join or leave the party. He underlined that he didn’t have the chance to ask Gülen’s advice before he decided to join.

In a statement after his resignation, Şükür stated that he had “accepted Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s invitation [to take part in politics].” Erdoğan’s ruling AK Party has left its mark on significant achievements and reforms over the past 11 years. However, he said the irrational approach he saw on some issues stained his conscience, and made him feel like he had to depart.

"They want me to be involved in match-fixing"

Hakan Şükür claimed that amid increasing incidences of football match-fixing, he was asked to give a briefing at parliament on a law which reduced high penalties for match fixes. Although the order came from the party leader, Şükür refused, saying he was against that move.

The match-fixing investigation concerns claims that some club officials and footballers were rigging games in the Spor Toto Super League, which ended in 2011 with Fenerbahçe winning the trophy, as well as the Bank Asya League 1. Dozens of individuals, including agents, former football players and club managers, were arrested as part of the probe, with Fenerbahçe Chairman Yıldırım being the highest-profile figure taken into custody. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 14.

Published on BGNNews, 02 November 2014, Sunday