Turkey’s FIFA 2002 World Cup star striker Hakan Sukur has confessed he now drives Uber to make ends meet after he was exiled from Turkey.
Sukur, 48, a former Inter Milan and Galatasaray player, who led Turkey to third place at the 2002 World Cup, also revealed he also sells book to survive.
His life took a dramatic turn after retirement, as he entered politics and was elected to Parliament, but in 2011 had a bitter falling out with President of Turkey Recep Erdogan.
Sukur, along with many others, was accused of participating in a failed coup, prompting him to go into exile.
Speaking to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Sukur said: “I have nothing left, Erdogan took everything: my right to liberty, freedom of expression and right to work.
“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 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 café in California, but strange people kept coming into the bar. Now I drive for Uber and I sell books.”
Sukur played a key role as Galatasaray beat Arsenal in the final of the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) in 2000, becoming the first Turkish club to achieve the feat.
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