By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The president of the Turkish Basketball Federation, Hedo Turkoglu, talked to Anadolu News Agency on the FIBA Europe presidential elections discussing whether there is a problem with the re-elected FIBA Europe president Turgay Demirel. The 40-year-old Turk underlined that he did not support any candidate via the letter he sent to other federations.
“If you translate the letter that I had sent to 49 federations, and find a single word stating that I was rooting for the Serbian candidate, I will resign from my position” he clarified responding to the accusations on him working against Demirel ahead of the FIBA Europe elections.
“It is pretty clear that the letter is about me not supporting a person, who has clearly not contacted with his own federation and taken no initiative, neither for the national team nor for the clubs, in order to contribute to Turkish basketball at European level at all” Turkoglu added.
Afterwards repeated: “As I said, if there is a single phrase reading that Hidayet Turkoglu supports the Serbian or Belgian candidate, I will resign from my position tomorrow.”
He also mentioned: “I cannot stand some guys, who we call mercenaries and are not behaving accordingly with their ages, and are calling themselves as ‘journalists’, telling lies so obviously.”
“This person (Turgay Demirel) may have personal issues with me, but I am someone who is always prioritizing his country, saying that the BSL is Europe’s top league and seeing that we have a steadily rising trajectory in our national teams, both at youth levels and major levels” the former player went on and explained: “My goal here is to have more people from us, and I’m fighting for this. Because I believe that the more people we have over there, the more we can be beneficial for our clubs and national teams.”
“I would like to ask you something. What did this person contribute to Turkish basketball and Turkey?” he wondered and said: “What can he, who has not accepted a single Turkish official at his board and who has not appointed a single Turkish official not even at minor committees, contribute to Turkish basketball in next five years?”
“When we took the office, the federation was not producing anything and giving its income out to several companies, and it was totally an out-dependent federation. The federation was giving one-third of its sponsorship income to several companies out there. As if it is not enough, it was paying a commission to a third party company. The amount of money paid to that company is approximately a bit over 7 million Turkish liras” Turkoglu pointed out.
He also mentioned: “We are transferring 90% of sponsorship income to our clubs, which was around 50% when we took the office. And the companies were benefiting from the gap between.”
“We fought hard for putting financial criteria system into force. And I am going to make an allegation for malpractice. Giving away our clubs’ rights is so pitiful, and even more, we annulled one of the contracts but they made a contract with the second company for 10 years in 2014, so we have to keep working with them. The federation was normally paying a 27.5% of sponsorship income earlier. We decreased this amount down to 3%, and saved nearly 20 million dollars” he added.
“Another incomprehensible part of the story is that the only organization that is working with the above mentioned companies is the Turkish Basketball Federation. Is this a coincidence, what do you think? They were paying 17,500 Euros monthly to one of the companies, and paying a commission of 300.000 dollars yearly. Taking the lost money into consideration, this is a crime in my opinion and we are going to take necessary steps” he took out.
“Formerly, the federation was totally dependent but we have changed this and incorporated all the operation, communication and production areas” he mentioned closing his initial statement on FIBA Europe.
Asked if the former Board “made the benefits available for third parties”, he replied: “We can say everything. We have a lot of data. I have never been a person who makes up unsupported stories. As I said, I sent 49 federations a letter stating that I would not support this person. How can they expect me to support a person, who has not communicated with us for the future of Turkish basketball at all and ignored it completely?
We have great relationships with the clubs. We are constantly fighting for producing more, adding more value and rising our brand. I cannot stand some people saying Hidayet supported Serbian candidate’ this easily. It should not be this cheap and easy.”
In conclusion: “There are some impertinent parliament members, deputy ministers, who are talking about this letter believing in made-up stories. I would like to state that I am working for a federation under Turkish Republic’s Ministry of Sports. I am not a member of federation that is working independently from the ministry. Everyone can see this letter, I am not hiding it from anyone. How can you expect me to support and respect someone that never contacted us, came up with a project about how to develop Turkish basketball and ignored me?”