The latest developments in Turkish football, including the shocking resignation of Mehmet Ali Aydınlar, President of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), underline the conspicious doubts about the match-fixing investigation in Turkey.
Aydınlar refused to disclose the exact reason for his resignation, but his key complaint is interesting: He said that his aides, who also resigned, didn't inform him of two letters that UEFA wrote to TFF on September and November last year (Edit on February 1st: It is disclosed today that another aide who didn't resign is the actual accused here). He learned about these letters only yesterday, after Kısmet Erkiner, the Turkish judge of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), revealed it on live TV.
The investigation is highly controversial. Among the 23 suspects detained is Fenerbahçe president Aziz Yıldırım, whose team was excluded by TFF from this year's Champions League because of the charges. TFF President Aydınlar has been arguing that the decision of exclusion was dictated by UEFA.
Fenerbahçe, on the other hand, insisted that the club and the president were innocent and TFF shouldn't have taken any irrevocable decision which may cause damage, before these charges that they deemed as a conspiracy, are proven in the court. It seems that the indictment is not strong enough that Fenerbahçe is not relegated and there is no public uproar because of it.
Meanwhile, after the club sued UEFA and TFF on CAS for tens of millions of dollars compensation, UEFA backpedaled to allege that the Champions League exclusion of Fenerbahçe was a decision solely initiated by TFF itself.
What's striking in Aydınlar's resignation is what it disclosed. It seems that some TFF authorities really conspired against Fenerbahçe for some reason. Was is just football fanaticism or is there something political behind the curtain, like neutralizing Yıldırım, a NATO contractor who may have been perceived as a figure who got too strong?
When you imagine such a well-connected, rich businessman in charge of Fenerbahçe, the biggest non-governmental organization in Turkey according to its fans, it is understandable that such a concentration of power disturbs many people in Turkey and beyond. We don't know who they are, yet, but we know that they couldn't relegate Fenerbahçe for now, although TFF relegates itself.