Veteran Turkish footballers to visit prisoners as part of project
Meltem Özgenç / ANKARAThe Youth and Sports Ministry has organized a series of events that will bring together prisoners and veteran Turkish footballers.
The ministry will bring together juvenile inmates in a prison in the eastern province of Elazığ with veteran footballers Ali Gültiken, Tanju Çolak, Hasan Şaş, Hami Mandıralı, Oğuz Çetin, Rüştü Reçber, Ergün Penbe, Semih Yuvakuran and İlker Yağcıoğlu on Dec. 8.
Şaş is known for his time at Galatasaray as well as his legendary performance in the national team during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he was also voted into the All-Star Team. Gültiken was a striker in the national team, Reçber was a national team goalkeeper, Mandıralı was also a striker and is currently a football manager, while Çolak, nicknamed “the King” is the second top scorer in the Turkish Super League history with a record of 240 goals and he achieved the European Golden Boot award in 1988 with 39 goals.
The initiative is part of a project where footballers speak of their experiences and hold exhibition matches. The undertaking started in İzmir and Rize and will continue in Mersin, Van and Eskişehir.
At least 800 young prisoners have taken part in the project so far.