Denizbank executives testify in case involving defrauded footballers

Executives from Turkey’s Denizbank were heard as witnesses in an ongoing case where professional footballers were defrauded of millions of dollars by a bank branch manager Seçil Erzan.

Duvar English

The fourth hearing in the case against Seçil Erzan, a former Denizbank branch manager in Istanbul accused of defrauding 28 individuals including famous football players of millions of dollars, took place on May 24. 

Denizbank executives were also heard as witnesses for the first time in this hearing.

In the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, 28 names such as former Galatasaray footballers Selçuk İnan, Emre Çolak, Emre Belözoğlu, Arda Turan, Fernando Muslera were among the complainants. 

Famous coach Fatih Terim's daughter Buse Terim, her husband Volkan Bahçekapılı, former club translator Musa Mert Çetin, and Emre Çolak's brother Emrah Çolak were also included as complainants.

Sermin Tekin, Denizbank Europe-1 Regional Manager, talked about the day Fatih Terim, Turan, and Belözoğlu went to the headquarters to meet with Denizbank management in her testimony.

"Turan said that he gave various amounts of money to Erzan and that he got some of it back and some could not not. Belözoğlu also gave his money to Erzan through his cousin Bahçekapılı.”

Regional manager Tekin also mentioned the allegations against famous coach Terim’s involvement in this scheme, “In this meeting, the footballers said that they asked Terim before giving the money to Erzan and Terim said, ‘Seçil is like my daughter,’ to them. Terim said, 'They will listen to me even if I am no longer their coach.’”

Terim, whose name has been involved in the case from the beginning, filed a lawsuit against Denizbank on May 22 and demanded compensation.

Tekin also denied the allegation that the bank management told Erzan to destroy her mobile phone.

Erzan faces 90 to 295 years in prison for "forgery of private documents" and "fraud during the commercial activities of persons who are merchants or company managers or acting on behalf of a company.”

The other six defendants are requested to be sentenced to prison terms ranging from three years to 85 years for the same offenses.