ISTANBUL: Record Turkish champions Fenerbahce have taken out full-page newspaper advertisements demanding fair play over what it considers its vitimisation in the long-running matchfixing scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Fenerbahce were banned last year by UEFA from European competition for two seasons, have linked the treatment the club received from the semi-secret ‘Special Jurisdiction Courts’ to the recent political turbulence.
A string of senior policemen and judges were sacked for pressing investigations into corruption allegations which claimed the scalps of several senior ministers in the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Among those senior figures in the judiciary denounced by Erdogan was Zekeriya Öz, who oversaw the matchfixing inquiry.
Public prosecutor Mehmet Berk, who pressed the case, was removed from his post; so was Nazmi Ardiç, the director of Istanbul’s organized crime division who approved numerous illegal phone-tapping operations including those concerning the match-fixing investigation . . . as well as Mutlu Ekizoglu, the former deputy director of the Istanbul Police Department who issued the orders in the matchfixing operation.
Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildiram has seized on the sackings to demand the overturning of accusations against the club.
Fenerbahce’s statement claimed: “The alleged match-fixing operation executed by these dismissed and disqualified persons was based on no concrete evidence other than inadmissible documents, voice and communication records, and police reports obtained through illegal means, and denied by the parties, the operation was a clear violation of fair trial and natural justice principles, let alone the European Convention of Human Rights.
“Therefore we do not recognize the rulings reached on the basis of such evidence, by courts with special jurisdiction. In all trials in Turkey, UEFA Disciplinary Board, UEFA Arbitration Board, and CAS, we were tried on the basis of the police’s summary of proceedings filled with lies and defamation.”
The matchfixing inquiry had been shown to “lack any sense of legitimacy” while club considered its directors and officials had been denied the right to a fair trial “in accordance with the European Convention of Human Rights and the judgments and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.”