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Ex-Blackburn Premier League player now drives taxis and sells books after being ‘exiled’ to the US

An ex-Blackburn Premier League player now drives taxis and selling books for a living in the US after being exiled from his home country.

Hakan Sukur’s life has become increasingly difficult however, after speaking in a recent interview with German publication Welt am Sonntag on what he does now after being accused of participating in a failed coup.

Fair to say that this story has left many fans stunned, especially after the footballing career he had back in the day.

Since retiring from football in 2008, a disagreement with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, exposed him to death threats, false accusations and lack of access to funds.

He went into politics in his home nation after his playing days, and got elected to parliament, only to experience a bitter falling out with the president in 2011.


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 [of] 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 cafe in California, but strange people kept coming into the bar. Now I drive for Uber and I sell books.”

He has claimed that his houses, businesses and bank accounts in Turkey had all been seized by Erdogan’s government.

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1987–1990 Sakaryaspor 41 games (19 goals)
1990–1992 Bursaspor 54 games (11 goals)
1992–1995 Galatasaray 90 games (54 goals)
1995 Torino 5 games (1)
1995–2000 Galatasaray 156 games (108 goals)
2000–2002 Inter Milan 24 games (5 goals)
2002 Parma 15 games (3 goals)
2002–2003 Blackburn Rovers 9 games (2 goals)
2003–2008 Galatasaray 146 games (55 goals)
Total – 540 games (260 goals)

National team
1987–1988 – Turkey U16 – 6 (2 goals)
1988–1990 – Turkey U18 – 13 (1 goal)
1990–1993 – Turkey U21 – 16 (5 goals)
1992–2007 – Turkey – 112 (51 goals)




  • Turkish Cup: 1987–88


  • Süper Lig: 1992–93, 1993–94, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2005–06, 2007–08
  • Turkish Cup: 1992–93, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2004–05
  • President Cup: 1993, 1997
  • UEFA Cup: 1999–2000


  • Coppa Italia: 2001–02


  • Supercoppa Italiana: Runner-up 2000



  • Mediterranean Games: 1993
  • FIFA World Cup: Third place 2002


  • Süper Lig: Top Scorer 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99[59]
  • IFFHS: World’s Best Top Division Goal Scorer 1997[60]
  • UEFA Jubilee Awards: Turkey’s Golden Player 2004[27]
  • Top Scorer of Turkish League of all Times: 249 goals[61]
  • Top Scoring Turkish Player in Champions League: 22 goals[29]
  • Golden Foot Legends Award: 2014

He made appearances in Premier League matches against Manchester City (1-0 win), Arsenal (2-0 win), Newcastle United (5-1 loss), Fulham (4-0 win, scored twice), Charlton Athletic (1-0 win), Manchester United (3-1 loss), Bolton Wanderers (0-0 draw), Leeds United (3-2 win) and West Brom (1-1 draw).

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