Investigation launched into Turkish football club Tuzlaspor after money laundering allegations

A Turkish prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into second league football club Tuzlaspor's chair after money laundering allegations. This week, journalist Murat Ağırel reported that the club sold tickets with five digit prices for some of their home matches in which the stands remained empty.

Tuzlaspor welcomed Eyüpspor on Aug. 26 at Istanbul Sancaktepe July 15 Stadium with empty stands while the ticket prices were 17,000 liras for the first category.

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Istanbul’s Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into second league football club Tuzlaspor's Chair Mehmet Berzan İlhanlı over “laundering property values,” “concealing the illegitimate source of property values” and “establishing an organization to commit a crime,” Demirören News Agency reported on Nov. 9.

The move came after journalist Murat Ağırel reported on Nov. 7 at Halk TV that the club sold tickets for prices ranging between 17,000 and 50,000 liras (595$-1750$) for some of their home matches in both previous and this season.

Moreover, the stands of the Istanbul club’s stadium remained empty despite most of the tickets being sold at five digit prices.

On Nov. 9, Ağırel announced that he was summoned by the prosecutor’s office regarding the issue. 

“I told them what I knew and gave them the documents without disclosing my source. Thus, I learned that an investigation was launched against Tuzlaspor,” Ağırel said. 

On Nov. 9, Tuzlaspor released a statement and said “the smear campaign against our club damaged our reputation. For this reason, we have full faith that our club and its managers will be acquitted in any investigation to be carried out and this damage will end.”

“Following the investigation that will reveal that our club has no connection with the allegations in question, we will file lawsuits and criminal proceedings against those who make allegations against our club that lack legal basis,” it added.

The Turkish Football Federation on Nov. 9 announced that referred the file regarding Tuzlaspor to the Ethics Committee.

Being a TFF First League club, the second level of the Turkish football league system, Tuzlaspor is located in Istanbul’s Tuzla district.