‘Now I drive for Uber and I sell books’: Ex-Blackburn star and Turkey legend Hakan Sukur reveals bizarre path his life has taken having been ‘exiled’ by President Erdogan and moving to the US after being accused of plotting a coup
- Turkey football legend Hakan Sukur has revealed the twists his life has taken
- The former striker made his name with the likes of Galatasaray and Inter Milan
- After moving into politics, a clash with the president forced him into ‘exile’
- Sukur says he fled to America, where he works as an Uber driver and sells books
Turkey football legend Hakan Sukur has opened up on the bizarre path his life has taken since retiring from the sport, taking him from a political ‘exile’ to running a cafe and driving for Uber in the United States.
The former striker made a strong name for himself in European football, playing for the likes of Inter Milan, Galatasaray and Parma before moving to English shores and undertaking a spell with Blackburn Rovers.
But it was when Sukur retired from the game and moved into politics in his homeland that things started to get a little messy.
Former Blackburn and Inter Milan striker Hakan Sukur now works as a driver for Uber
The 48-year-old, who scored 51 goals in 112 appearances for the Turkish national team, was elected to parliament but experienced a bitter and well publicised falling out with president of Turkey Recep Erdogan in 2011.
Speaking in a recent interview with German publication Welt am Sonntag, Sukur revealed how life became increasingly difficult for him after he was accused of participating in a failed coup.
Sukur played and scored in the third place play off at the 2002 World Cup as Turkey won
‘I have nothing left, Erdogan took everything: my right to liberty, freedom of expression and right to work,’ said Sukur.
‘Nobody seems able to explain what my role in this coup was supposed to be. I never did anything illegal, I am not a traitor or a terrorist.
‘I might be an enemy [of] this government, but not the state or the Turkish nation. I love my country. After the split with Erdogan, I started to receive threats. My wife’s shop was attacked, my children were harassed, my father put in prison and all my assets confiscated.
‘So I moved to the United States, initially running a cafe in California, but strange people kept coming into the bar. Now I drive for Uber and I sell books.’
Sukur claims his dispute with Turkey president Recep Erdogan forced him to go into exile
Sukur is still fondly remembered by Turkish football fans, after scoring crucial goals for the national team throughout the years.
Sukur’s crowing moment came as he spearheaded the side in the 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup, in which Turkey shook the football landscape by finishing third.
A 3-2 victory over hosts South Korea was enough to earn a podium finish for the…