AKP-Gülen rift comes to a head with Şükür’s political dribbling
Şükür visited the police officials in custody on July 25. AA PhotoIstanbul deputy and former professional football player Hakan Şükür has hit the headlines again with his heading ability as the war between Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally-turned-nemesis, the Gülen movement, comes to a head with the ongoing wiretapping investigation.
“Frankly, I find it odd that Hakan Şükür, who was famous for his footballing talent in using his head, can’t use his head now,” AKP deputy head Mehmet Ali Şahin said during a visit to the Black Sea province of Karabük on July 29.
The former Inter and Galatasaray star, who was elected as an AKP Istanbul deputy in the June 2011 elections, firmly positioned himself on the side of the Gülen movement late last year by resigning from the AKP on the eve of massive graft investigations targeting leading ministers and pro-government businessmen.
While the graft investigation is effectively stalled in Parliament, the tide has turned against police officials who allegedly conducted illegal wiretappings.
Şükür visited the police officials in custody on July 25 and even posed with them, infuriating AKP heavyweights. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed on July 28 that Şükür “committed a crime” as his support to detained police officials was tantamount to “putting pressure on the judiciary."