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Turkish sports minister slams Galatasaray for FETO

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Turkey's sports minister late Saturday criticized a top football team's decision not to disown two former players publicly known to have ties with a terror group.

Galatasaray management board voted in its annual meeting Saturday to expel several members of the club due to their alleged or established links with the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO). The group is accused of orchestrating last July's deadly coup attempt.

The members expelled after the vote included jailed former Istanbul Mayor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and former judiciary member Zekeriya Oz, among others.

But Hakan Shukur and Arif Erdem, two former Galatasaray players with international caps, were voted to remain part of the club's membership.

Turkey's Sports and Youth Minister Akif Chagatay Kılıch expressed discontent with the decision, saying: "The Galatasaray board needs to correct the issue immediately.

"Traitors to our country and our state have no business in our established sports clubs," the minister said. "The board's voting is inexplicable to the families of our martyrs and veterans," he added.

Both Shukur and Erdem were in the celebrated squad that won the UEFA Cup in 2000. They were also part of the squad that finished third in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

2017.03.26 / 21:19
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