War of words rages on as ‘Emperor’ Terim hits back

War of words rages on as ‘Emperor’ Terim hits back

War of words rages on as ‘Emperor’ Terim hits back

Turkish national football team coach Fatih Terim sits during a press conference at which he spoke out against his departure from Galatasaray. AA photo

A war of words between former coach Fatih Terim and club president Ünal Aysal continues to steal the show as Galatasaray prepares to meet Torku Konyaspor in the Spor Toto Super League on Nov. 1.

Terim, who was sacked as Galatasaray coach in September, held a press conference on Oct. 31 to respond to Aysal’s statements last week, continuing the bitter war of words.

Last week, Aysal gave a televised interview on the club’s official television channel, accusing Terim of failing to abide by “the Galatasaray values” by refusing to answer Aysal, who had reportedly offered a contract extension.

“You cannot accuse me of acting against Galatasaray’s values. I have fully absorbed the Galatasaray values,” said Terim, who served Galatasaray for more than two decades as a player and in three spells as a coach.

Nicknamed “the Emperor,” Terim is a fan favorite, not only for being a team leader over 13 years as a player, but also for leading the club to six Turkish league titles, a national record for coaches. He was replaced by Italian coach Roberto Mancini, but many of the club’s fans continue to stand by their former coach. However, Terim urged the fans not to take sides, while also seeking to clear his name following Aysal’s claims.

“You have known me for 40 years, I can be a difficult man. I did not say I am easy. I may have a big ego. But if there are scales, I outweigh most people [in abiding by the Galatasaray values.] There you will see my heart and what I have lived at Galatasaray,” he said.

Ties between Aysal and Terim are believed to have been strained at times over the last two seasons, but the differences were mainly left aside during the team’s successful run, including back-to-back national titles and a successful quarter-final run in the Champions League.

Terim accused Aysal of leaking his sacking to the media before telling him.

“While we are speaking about values, I must say, I have not faced such an approach of informing a coach of his sacking via the media. That is behavior that I had not witnessed at Galatasaray before,” he said. “I hope nobody in the future experiences that. That does not bode well for Galatasaray.”

Galatasaray will face Torku Konyaspor in the Spor Toto Super League on the night of Nov. 1, hoping to maintain its winning streak. Between back-to-back recent victories in the Super League, Galatasaray enjoyed a 3-1 win over FC Copenhagen in the Champions League. The Lions will visit the Danish capital for their second Champions League game against FC Copenhagen on Nov. 5.