January 13, 2020

From Turkish football star to Uber driver. It is the parable of Hakan Sukur, 48 year old former striker from Turin, Inter and Parma, forced to live as an exile in the United States. In an interview with "Welt am Sonntag", the former footballer tells of the strange turn that has taken his life and accuses the Turkish government led by Erdogan of persecuting him.

He hung his shoes on the nail with Galatasaray in 2008, three years later Sukur had joined the Akp, the party that sees Erdogan among the co-founders. In 2013, however, he decided to get out after a corruption scandal and ended up paying the consequences of the breakdown between Erdogan and Fethullah Gulen, the preacher who lives in the United States and accused by the Turkish government of terrorism. In the crosshairs of justice for a few sentences about Erdogan and his son Bilal, Sukur has had an arrest warrant for him since 2016 because Gulen's supporter and his assets have been frozen. A year earlier, the former player, who scored the fastest goal in the history of the World Cup in 2002 (on the net after 11 seconds against South Korea in the final for third place), emigrated to the USA. "My wife's shop had been hit by stones, my children were attacked on the street, I was threatened with every statement I made," he vents.

In 2015 Hakan Sukur tried to make a new life by opening a club in California "but strange people came to play the dombra", an instrument to which the AKP often refers as a symbol of true Turkish music. In short, intimidation that pushed the ex player to move to Washington where he is now the driver Uber. "I have nothing left, Erdogan took everything from me. When I left Turkey they arrested my father and confiscated everything I had. They also took away my freedom, the right to speak, even the right to work" .