Arda Turan is the most wanted man in Turkey

Being a nation’s captain must be hard work, just ask Wayne Rooney; if you’re not lambasted for a poor performance, you’re slated for your off-field actions. And – with beveraging aside – politics seems to be the perfect ingredient to split opinion, and make you public enemy number one – arise, Turkey captain, Arda Turan. 

The Barcelona man hasn’t exactly been the most popular figure; just look back to that performance against Spain at the 2016 Euro’s, where the attacking-midfielder was booed by his own fans, had to give a sarcastic thumbs-up sign to not lose face, and then had to be consoled by the Spanish players.

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We thought our national captain had problems.

Turan’s now caused further reason for animosity to be shown towards him by throwing support behind the unpopular Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. You only need to look as far as the military coups last summer as an indication to how there was a demand to overthrow the Presidency. The failed coup has now been followed by President Erdogan abolishing a collective cabinet government; effectively making him a dictator of Turkey – concerning? Yeah, pretty concerning when one man controls a military ranked in the top 10 most powerful in the world.

Naturally, this extended power behind the President has caused great unrest amongst a wide majority in Turkey, yet Turan has followed former Fenerbahçe midfielder, Ridvan Dilmen, in backing their President by approving of the ‘Yes’ campaign to grant Erdogan such overruling control.

“We want a strong Turkey. I am also in for ‘Yes’ to a strong Turkey. Dear Arda, are you also in?”.

Ridvan Dilmen

“I have heeded the call from Ridvan. I am also in for a strong Turkey. Burak Yilmaz, my brother, are you also in?”

Arda Turan

Turan’s support – brown-nosing – to the President goes back as far as the Barcelona’s midfielder wedding day. The President is a Muslim, so frowns upon drinking; no alcoholic beverages were to be at the Turkish captain’s wedding until the President left. Spoiler alert, the wedding never happened; the couple separated.

We sort of take our hat off to Turan for cozying up to the right sort of person, but, at the same time, the whole military was after the President in the summer; Turan could quite easily find himself between a rock and hard place very soon.

Plus, you know those Galatasaray ultras? Yeah, those terrifying ones who welcomed Manchester United with ‘Welcome to Hell’ banners. Well, it turns out a large majority of them hate President Erdogan, demonstrated by the hostility of boos they gave the President when he came to the opening of Galatasaray’s new stadium in 2011. Turan should take a leaf out of Wesley Sneijder’s book, rather than backing a man the Galatasaray fans hate.

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Turan is walking a fine line. But, the Barcelona man is probably currently on the ‘right side’, as former Turkish footballer, Hakan Sukur, once criticised the current President, and was consequently arrested on suspicion of terrorism. Gulp.

So, for the time being, the Turkish captain seems safe from any real danger – other than his club potentially being ousted from La Liga – but in his homeland, he just needs to be wary of those ultras, and all should be dandy 😬.

Good luck, Arda.

 

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