Galatasaray ending contract with firm accused of links to Gülen movement
ISTANBULTurkey’s Galatasaray has decided to cancel its sponsorship deal with Dumankaya Construction, after executives of the company were detained as part of a police crackdown on the alleged financial links of the Fethullah Gülen movement.
State-run Anadolu Agency said Galatasaray club officials anonymously suggested in an April 26 meeting that club president Dursun Özbek should cancel the two-year deal with an optional additional year and Özbek welcomed the offer.
The jersey sponsorship deal was in its sixth month.
Now, club management is rushing to end the deal before the Spor Toto Super League game against Bursaspor on April 29, the agency said.
Seven people were arrested April 22 in a probe into the financial links of sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Gülen, including the managing member of Dumankaya Construction, Halit Dumankaya.
“We are a family that loves the country [Turkey]. We wouldn’t help or protect any institution or individual that could harm our country,” Dumankaya reportedly said in his testimony, in which he denied the allegations.
Four people were also arrested on April 20, bringing the total number of arrests to 11.
Those arrested were among 107 people detained on April 18 in nine provinces across Turkey in a police operation centered in Istanbul. A detention order was given for 140 people, including Bank Asya employees and business leaders.
Dumankaya Construction Chairman Uğur Dumankaya, Managing Member Halit Dumankaya and board members Semih Serhat Dumankaya and Ayla Dumankaya Pirinççi were among those detained. The Dumankaya board members and chairman were released on condition of judicial control.
Charges against the suspects included “being a member of the Fetullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ)/Parallel State Structure (PDY),” “providing financing for a terror group,” “making propaganda on behalf of a terror group” and “money laundering.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accuse Gülen and his followers of setting up a “parallel state” and conspiring to unseat the government with a network of supporters in the judiciary, police and media.