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Star footballer Şükür, sought on Gülen links, ignored in Netflix series about coach

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Famous former Turkish footballer Hakan Şükür, who is sought by Turkey over his alleged links to a faith-based group, is not mentioned in a documentary series aired by Netflix about Turkish coach Fatih Terim despite his role in the coach’s successful career, the Bold Medya news outlet reported.

In the biographical documentary series titled “Terim,” which was released on Netflix on Thursday, Terim recounts his football journey, from his playing days to coaching and leading several teams to championships.

According to Bold Medya, the four-episode series covering the life and career of Terim with interviews, anecdotes and archive footage failed to mention Şükür, who played an important role in Turkish football team Galatasaray — coached by Terim at the time — when it won the UEFA cup in 2000.

Galatasaray’s UEFA championship came after the team played and won against Arsenal, with Şükür scoring the highest number of goals in the match.

“I’d like to thank everyone who said I wasn’t in the documentary and that it upset them, but unfortunately this is the state of the country. I think the platform and Terim drew more attention by not mentioning me,” Şükür said in a tweet on Friday.

He added: “I understand that you didn’t include me because I write, talk and criticize this regime [in Turkey]. [But] at least, don’t do it to Arif. … He also worked a lot [for Galatasaray]. It’s a shame what you did to him.”

Şükür, also a former deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who has been living in self-exile in the US because of his affiliation with the Gülen movement, was referring to Arif Erdem, another alleged Gülen follower who was expelled by the board of the Galatasaray Sports Club from team membership under heavy government pressure in 2017 along with him.

The two are targeted by the Turkish government due to their links to the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of the Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

As part of a large-scale crackdown on the movement’s members, an arrest warrant was issued for Şükür, who moved to the US in 2015, and the government confiscated all his homes, businesses and bank accounts in Turkey.

The former striker netted 51 goals in his 112 appearances playing for Turkey, making him the nation’s all-time top goal scorer.

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