Turkey issues arrest warrant for former football star Hakan Sukur

Turkey has issued a detention warrant for former international football striker Hakan Sukur, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported Friday, amid a crackdown in the wake of last month's coup attempt.

A Turkish prosecutor has also won a court order to seize Sukur's assets in the country, estimated to be worth 200 million lira (67.6 million dollars), the Dogan news agency reports.

The valuation includes the assets of his father, Selmet Sukur, who was being held in police custody.

Detention orders were issued for both father and son, who are accused by the government of having links to the alleged plotters of the failed coup attempt last month.

Police carried out searches at both their houses. Hakan Sukur is believed to be residing in the United States.

The former footballer has ties to US-based, Turkish-born preacher Fethullah Gulen. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the cleric, a one-time ally, of plotting the coup - charges Gulen denies.

Sukur, 44, was once a member of parliament from Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) but resigned in protest in 2013 after a widespread corruption probe into top government officials. Erdogan blamed the probe on prosecutors linked to Gulen.

Turkey has detained 35,022 people, of whom 17,740 have been formally arrested under court orders, since the Jult 15 failed putsch.

Sukur is the Turkish national team's all-time top scorer and was a member of the team which finished third at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. He retired from football following the 2007-2008 season after playing among others for Galatasaray, Inter Milan and Blackburn Rovers.

Last update: Fri, 12/08/2016 - 13:58
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