Over 40-50 People Detained in Turkey for Alleged Match-Fixing

More than 40 – 50 people were detained in Turkey earlier this week for connections to a football match-fixing scandal in which the investigation was originally launched by the Turkish Football Federation in August of 2009.  The detained are accused of manipulation of matches and match fixing.  The detainments were part of a six-month investigation by the Istanbul Police Department in cooperation with the Turkish Football Federation.  The Istanbul Police Department also had appointed a senior officer to work with the Bochum Public Prosecutors Office and German authorities.

Detainees consisted of former and current players ranging from the Turkcell Super League and the Bank Asya First Division.  Some of them include Arif Erdem, a former Galatasaray player and current assistant coach of Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor; former Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray player Fatih Akyel, Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor goalkeeper Kenan Hasagic, Konyaspor goalkeeper Recep Öztürk, Sivasspor player Erman Kılıç, and Kayserispor players Umut Koçin and Durmuş Bayram.  Kayseri police have said that both Kayserispor players were sent to Istanbul and would testify as witnesses.  Öztürk, who is the son-in-law of Gençlerbirliği chairman Ilhan Cavcav, is accused of betting 30,000 euros against his own team.  That accusation is based off a match last May when Öztürk played for Gençlerbirliği against Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor, where Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor won 3-1 and avaided relegation from the Turkcell Super League.

As of the writing of this piece, Erdem, Hasagic, and Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor player Taner Gulleri have been released without facing trial.  Akyel is facing trial along with fellow Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray player Ali Riza Gültekin.  After being released Erdem told reporters that he provided all information asked of him by the prosecutors.  He went on to mention that he was directly accused of match fixing and that he has no reason to abstain from testifying on this issue.  Öztürk is still in custody.

The TFF has said in a written statement that the investigation was independent of the probe by the Bochum Public Prosecutors Office into this matter.  They also said that their officials were sharing information with the German authorities.