Football stars leaving Turkey amid insecurity after attempted coup
ISTANBULA number of football stars have decided to leave Turkey, owing to the ongoing insecurity following last week’s failed military coup attempt, with Beşiktaş’s German striker Mario Gomez and Fenerbahçe’s Dutch forward Robin van Persie announcing that they will leave the country.
Gomez announced that he will leave because of the “political situation” in the country, saying that it was a “difficult decision.”
“It was a difficult decision that I had to think about a lot. I have to tell you Beşiktaş fans personally that it is very heavy for me that I will not be playing for this great club in front of you wonderful fans in this unique stadium anymore. The reason for this is completely down to the political situation!” Gomez wrote on his Facebook page on July 20, as he added that there were no sporting or any other reasons which caused him make the decision.
“It is purely down to the terrible events that happened in the last few days. I hope you can understand that!” he also said, referring to the July 15 failed coup attempt.
“I hope that these political problems can be solved in a peaceful manner soon. Then it would be my great wish to play for Beşiktaş again! The club and the country grew very close to my heart in this past year,” he added.
Thanking the club, fans and the people he and his family spent time with in Turkey, Gomez said the previous year was a “fantastic year with the Championship providing the absolute highlight.”
“Hope to see you again soon,” he said, as he wrote “Çok teşekkürler,” which means “Thanks a lot” with the hashtag “#blackeagle.”
Another name that decided to leave Turkey was van Persie, 32, who is expected to sign with the English club Stoke City, according to daily Milliyet.
A former Manchester United and Arsenal player, van Persie was looking for a club to play with after a season in Fenerbahçe.
According to Milliyet, the Flying Dutchman’s agent first contacted Chinese clubs, but didn’t reach an agreement with them. The Premier League’s Stoke City then stepped in and Fenerbahçe decided to rent van Persie to the club.
An official statement will be released after an agreement on the details is reached, according to reports.
The Dutch star scored 22 goals in the 48 games that he played in appearances with Fenerbahçe.