Podolski mulls leaving Turkey after terror attacks: Report
ISTANBULGalatasaray’s German forward, Lukas Podolski, is considering leaving Turkey following March 13’s terrorist attack in Ankara, which left at least 37 dead.
Podolski, who moved to the Istanbul-based club from Arsenal on a three-year contract last summer, told German daily Bild that he is now considering leaving Turkey given the political situation in the country.
“The club is in shock,” Podolski told Bild. “You have to carefully consider the next steps with what’s happening here.”
March 13’s bomb attack was the third in Ankara in the last five months, while a terror attack in Istanbul in January killed 12 German tourists.
Among the victims in Ankara was Kemal Bulut, the father of Podolski’s teammate Turkish international Umut Bulut.
“My thoughts are with the dead, the injured and their families. What a horrible world,” Podolski said.
Meanwhile, media reports have said Bülent Korkmaz, a former iconic Galatasaray player and also a former coach, will take the helm at the club more than two weeks after Mustafa Denizli resigned.
However, reports differed on the duration of a possible contract, as Korkmaz may coach the team for the remaining nine league games and Ziraat Turkish Cup match-up, or he might stay for another year.
Having spent his whole career as a player under the yellow and red flag, Korkmaz was with the club through its best periods, including lifting the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup in 2000. Korkmaz was the captain of the Galatasaray lineup, which won seven titles in 10 years from 1993 to 2002, including an unmatched four-year winning run between 1996 and 2000.
Apart from a disappointing stint at Galatasaray in 2009, he had short-lived spells at several Turkish Super League teams, including Gençlerbirliği, Bursaspor, Kayseri Erciyesspor, Kardemir Karabükspor and Azerbaijan team FK Baku.
Galatasaray is now on 39 points, 20 points behind leaders Fenerbahçe, in the Spor Toto Super League, pending a match late last night between Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor that could affect the top of the table. The club has also been banned from European competition for one season for breaking financial fair play regulations.
Denizli resigned from the defending champion on March 1 after a three-month spell with the troubled Istanbul club. He had taken charge in November 2015 after former coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu stayed less than a year at the helm.
Denizli, 66, previously managed the Turkish national team for four years and reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2000.
He has also won three domestic league titles with each of the big Istanbul rivals – Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş.