Turkish court imposes jail terms of more than 1,000 YEARS each on a media director and former police chief who colluded on match-fixing charges against Fenerbahce a decade ago, with the club now seeking ‘financial and moral’ compensation
- Fenerbahçe’s ex-president Aziz Yildirim was jailed after the 2011 charges
- But he only served a six-year sentence before the case was reopened
- Former police chief Nazmi Ardic has been sentenced to 2,170 years in prison for, among other things, forging documents and conspiracy against the club.
- Hidayet Karaca, the head of a media group, was sentenced to 1,406 years in prison
- The club’s current president, Ali Koc, seeks ‘financial and moral’ compensation
A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a media director and a former police chief to more than 1,000 years in prison each for conspiracy to charge Fenerbahçe with match fixing.
Fenerbahce’s president was jailed ten years ago for match fixing and the club was banned from playing in European competitions for two seasons, but the case was reopened after prosecutors said the case was based on a conspiracy.
The 2011 match-fixing charge was filed by prosecutors with ties to Fethullah Gülen, a US-based cleric who Turkey believes attempted a coup in 2016, an accusation Gülen denies.
Fenerbahce President Ali Koc addresses media after Friday’s trial in Istanbul
Turkish football at the time was plagued by match-fixing allegations, which Fenerbahce was accused of leading.
Fenerbahçe’s former president Aziz Yildirim was sentenced to six years in prison after being charged with match fixing and founding an illegal organization. He spent a year behind bars.
At his trial, he denied the charges, saying the case was specifically designed to undermine the Istanbul club, which has won Turkey’s domestic championship 19 times.
In 2016, an indictment by a prosecutor in Istanbul alleged that the 2011 match-fixing charges were a plot by Gülen supporters, who had infiltrated the Turkish judiciary and police, to frame the club and overthrow its executives.
Koc now claims the Turkish giants will pursue ‘financial and moral’ compensation
The court has sentenced Hidayet Karaca, who headed the Samanyolu media group – which was later shut down by the government – to 1,406 years in prison. Karaca was charged with inciting phone taps and falsifying documents.
Former police chief Nazmi Ardic was sentenced to 2,170 years in prison for, among other things, forging documents and conspiracy against the club. The court handed down prison terms to at least 25 other defendants, state Anadolu news agency said.
Fenerbahce chairman Ali Koc told reporters Friday’s court ruling showed the club was the innocent victim of a plot against the club by Gulen’s network. He vowed to seek legal avenues for “financial and moral” compensation.
The prosecutors and judges who opened the original case and delivered its verdict fled the country after the coup attempt.