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Turkey delays soccer season amid fixing probe
Quote:* Start of Turkish season delayed by one month

* Federation to meet with club chairmen on Tuesday

The start of the Turkish season has been delayed a month until Sept. 9 because of the investigation into match-fixing allegations involving some of the country's top clubs, Turkey's football federation announced on Monday.

A Turkish court has already jailed pending trial 31 people, including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce and the coach and deputy chairman of Besiktas on charges of match fixing.

The scandal has plunged the start of the new season, due to start on Aug. 5, into chaos. Announcing the delay in a statement posted on its website, the federation said it would meet with club chairmen on Tuesday.

Media reports have said the Turkish Cup final between Besiktas and IBB (Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor) is one of 19 games highlighted in the police investigation.
Besiktas won the final 4-3 on penalties to win a place in next season's Europa League.

Another match under scrutiny, according to reports, was Fenerbahce's 4-3 victory over Sivasspor which clinched the title on the final day of the season to secure a place in the lucrative Champions League.

Earlier this month, European soccer's governing body UEFA said that, based on evidence so far, it had no reason to ban any Turkish club from European competition.
Sports and Politics in Fenerbahce match fixing case

Council head Yüksel Günay stated Fenerbahçe was a secular team and that no Islamic religious sect could sneak into the 104 years old club. In recent years, with ruling AKP administration gaining in power wiyh won elections Islamic religious sects have increased their influence in Tukey and are powerful in some sections of the economy, feeding on religious benefits and abuse of religion.

"Fenerbahçe is a community of 23 million people (fans) committed to the Constitution of the Turkish Republic and the revolutions of [Republic founder Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk,"the council head continued. "It is Turkey's strongest civil society [group]. No religious sect can live in this club." he claimed.
Turkish Writer : Fenerbahce match fixing scandal is a coup attempt by Turkish government

Although there are otherix top-flight clubs allegedly involved in the match-fixing probe scandal, many Fenerbahçe supporters believe that the probe targets solely their club's presidency, and that a new chairman with closer relations to the conservative government AKP would be brought in after Aziz Yıldırım was toppled, as he also declared with a written statement, that he would resign as Fenerbahce president, regardless how the probe should end.

Prominent writer, documentarist and columnist Can Dündar wrote that the case was "a coup" attempt by the AKP government.

"This is definitely a coup, parallel to the political structure and there is more to come," he wrote only two weeks ago. "The government has the ball now."
Murat Ãœlker was suggested as a successor, however the current Ãœlker Group chairman is reportedly not interested in the presidency of Fenerbahce.

Ülker, the major Turkish producer of biscuits, chocolate and candies, is a main sponsor of Fenerbahçe. The company had one of the Turkey's leading basketball teams in Ülkerspor before it was merged with Fenerbahçe in 2006 and took the name Fenerbahçe Ülker. Ülker Group is getting bitter and is also known as a bastion for "green capital", a phrase used in describing islamic rooted business industry in Turkey.
Turkish Cup winners Besiktas said on Thursday they were returning the trophy to their football federation until cleared in a massive match-fixing scandal.

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