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Presidency leaves questions on Erdoğan-backed football club unanswered

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Turkey’s Presidential Communications Center (CİMER) has not provided any answers to several questions raised by an opposition deputy about İstanbul’s Başakşehir football club, whose perceived sponsor is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on the grounds that they fall outside the scope of the right to information, Turkish media reports said on Wednesday.

The questions about Başakşehir, which is currently leading the Süper Lig, Turkey’s foremost professional football league, were asked by Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Alpay Antmen.

Last month, Erdoğan caused unhappiness among sports and political circles when he said: “Başakşehir is really thriving. I am proud of it because it is a team I started. We had built it during my term as mayor [of İstanbul], and they have made great progress to get where they are now.”

Antmen asked the presidency if the Turkish government and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) provide support to Başakşehir, if the football club is financed by pro-government circles, if the government turns a blind eye to the team’s non-transparent financial activities and if it is favored by the TFF and referees.

The CHP deputy also asked which public tenders have been given to pro-government companies that provide financial support to Başakşehir.

CİMER declined to answer Antmen’s questions on the grounds that they fall outside the scope of the right to information.

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