Football board members resign amid probe into Gülenists

Published 01.08.2016 01:23

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced Sunday that every member of the federation's boards resigned in what it called "security checks" as part of an investigation into the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which is regarded as the culprit behind the July 15 coup attempt.

The TFF said in a statement that the move was to ensure "a healthy investigation." Every president and board member to those overseeing the appointment of referees to a health board all presented their resignations. The federation said it was a routine procedure and has been applied in the "private and public sector" following the coup attempt.

Tens of thousands of people were removed from their posts at ministries, the military, judiciary, academia and others following the coup attempt linked to FETÖ, a former religious movement that evolved into "a network of traitors," as Turkish leaders call it, bent on seizing power through its infiltrators in every state-run agency, ministry, police, judiciary and military.

Details are scarce on any investigation into Gülenist infiltrators within the TFF but Turkish media reported that most referees are on-duty military officers and the investigation might cover them. Since the coup, thousands of military officers involved in the putsch attempt were dishonorably discharged from the army.

FETÖ was blamed by Istanbul club Fenerbahçe for orchestrating a plot to imprison its president Aziz Yıldırım. Yıldırım and several other Fener executives were imprisoned on charges of match-fixing, which was later dismissed, and Yıldırım claimed the terrorist organization concocted fake evidence in the case as a punishment to the club that opposed the Gülenist influence in Turkish sports. Although most sports personalities have voiced support for the state against the Gülenist junta that planned the coup, some openly side with the Gülenists. Enes Kanter, a Turkish NBA star that currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, voiced his support and loyalty to FETÖ leader Gülen, the prime suspect in the coup plot. Hakan Şükür, another U.S.-based sports personality known for his long stint at Galatasaray, is also an active supporter of Fethullah Gülen.

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