Turkey’s former top scorer Zafer Biryol detained in post-coup investigation

Zafer Biryol, a former top scorer at Turkey’s national football league was detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement early Friday. The footballer turned soccer coach was detained at İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, media said.

Biryol scored 25 goals in 34 matches he showed up under Konyaspor jersey and was honored the top scorer of the 2003-2004 season. He coached the third division team, Bandırmaspor from November 2015 to February 2016.

Several football players were earlier caught in the government’s post-coup dragnet which is proven not to be discriminating against any occupational group.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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