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Turkey’s finance minister rejects tax break request from 3 biggest football clubs

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Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has rejected a request for a reduction in taxes from the chairmen of Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, the three biggest Super Lig clubs, the 10Haber news website reported on Wednesday.

The clubs spent almost 100 million euros ($104.9 million) during the summer transfer window between June 26 and Sept. 15.

Fenerbahçe paid 56.8 million euros ($59.5 million) in transfer expenses, while Galatasaray paid 29.54 million euros ($30.9 million) and Beşiktaş paid 12.5 million euros ($13.1 million), excluding the salaries given to the football players.

According to 10Haber, Ali Koç, Dursun Özbek and Ahmet Nur Çebi, the chairmen of Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, respectively, visited Minister Şimşek in Ankara to request a reduction in their corporate tax to help ease their financial burden.

The minister reportedly declined the chairmen’s request, pointing to the increase in the Special Consumption Tax (ÖTV) on certain products that affects everyone and the additional Motor Vehicle Tax (MTV), stating that there is no possibility of implementing a discount for sports clubs in such a situation.

“Planes were landing and taking off one after another during the transfer season. You’ve made it a spectacle, and now you want a tax reduction?” 10Haber quoted Şimşek as saying.

Şimşek pledged better public finances after taking over in June, when the budget gap was widening due to increased spending before President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reelection in May as well as two devastating earthquakes that took place in February.

The government in July tripled taxes collected from fuel and raised the value-added tex by two percentage points. Alcoholic beverages also saw a 14.8 percent price rise in July.

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