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Former Turkish Legendary Footballer Hakan Sukur Now Drives Uber and Sells Books in the United States

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Last Updated: January 25, 2022, 18:23 IST

Former footballer Hakan Sukur (Twitter)

Former footballer Hakan Sukur (Twitter)

Turkish Hakan Sukur, who retired from the sport in 2008 and sought out a life in politics, now works as a cab driver in the United States to make ends meet.

Galatasaray and Turkey legend Hakan Sukur, who is well known for his heroics on the football field, is now working as a cab driver in the United States to make ends meet. The former star forward made a strong name for himself in European football as well, playing for the likes of Inter Milan, Parma before moving to English shores and undertaking a spell with Blackburn Rovers. After a third stint with Galatasaray, where he is a club legend, Sukur retired from the sport in 2008. But a brief stint in politics in his country left him living in exile in a foreign country and is now an Uber driver, as per a Sports Bible report.

The 50-year-old, who scored 51 goals in 112 appearances for the Turkish national team, also holds the record for fastest ever goal in a World Cup finals. He retired from the sport in 2008 and sought out a life in politics. In 2011, he was elected as an Istanbul MP when he joined Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party but quit two years later to run as an independent. It was then that things started to get a little messy as he experienced a bitter and well publicised falling out with Erdogan. He eventually quit politics in 2015 and two years later he had to flee with family to the US after he was allegedly accused of participating in a failed coup, as per a 2020 interview with German publication Welt am Sonntag.

In that interview, Sukur explained how he lost everything as a result of his fallout with Erdogan and had to flee to the US. “I have nothing left, Erdogan took everything: my right to liberty, freedom of expression and right to work,” Sukur told the German publication.

He also explained how Erdogan forced him and his family out of the country with a warrant for his arrest over an alleged coup he was apparently part of. “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 (Ezrdogan’s), but not the state or the Turkish nation. I love my country,” he added. After the political feud with Erdogan, he said he started receiving threats to life and family. “My wife’s shop was attacked, my children were harassed, my father put in prison and all my assets confiscated,” he remarked.

“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,” he further added.

As per The Sun report in December 2021, Sukur is still working as an Uber driver.

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first published:January 25, 2022, 18:13 IST
last updated:January 25, 2022, 18:23 IST