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In the face of increasing complaints about the quality of the officiating in Turkish leagues, Central Refereeing Board (MHK)hairman Kuddusi Manduftanduoilu has stated that the body intends to bring more younger referees forward to work in higher leagues.
“We want to give more work to our young colleagues. We are looking for fresh faces,” Manduftanduoilu said. “I believe that with time, as they gain more experience they will make fewer mistakes, and people will start looking at what the players and coaches are doing, rather than just the referees,” he added.
There are currently 38 referees in the Spor Toto Super League, which he said would be reduced to 22 by the year’s end. Meanwhile, there may be adjustments made to the additional official system, implemented in the 2013-14 season, which Manduftanduoilu would like to see improved. The Super League system currently uses a head referee, two linesmen and three additional officials.
Manduftanduoilu highlighted that although there are many complaints about refereeing from within the country, Turkish referee Canduneyt andcakir has been named one of the world’s top referees and Halis andOzkahya and Handuseyin GandOandcek will join him in UEFA’s Elite group of referees next year.
h2Poor year for refereesh2 Refereeing is an increasingly common topic in post-match interviews in the Spor Toto Super League this season. While it was considered poor form to discuss the officiating to such an extent in the past, it is quickly becoming a predictable theme.
The issue of dissatisfaction in officiating came to a head in Trabzon. Trabzonspor held referees in the stadium hours after the end of its match against Gaziantepspor on Oct. 28. The club is being punished, but now claims referee andcaiatay iahan and his assistants shut themselves in of their own accord, fearing fans’ reactions to his decision not to award a free kick to the hosts in the final minutes of their 2-2 draw.
“We had never experienced anything like that. A deputy chairman being handed over to the disciplinary board and punished by the [Turkish Football] Federation is a first in Turkish footballing history,” Manduftanduoilu said.
The case of Deniz andcoban, who broke down and resigned suddenly after a match between Kasimpaia and andcaykur Rizespor, is another interesting chapter in Turkish refereeing history. Manduftanduoilu took fault with andcoban’s actions post match, when he interrupted interviews to apologize to both clubs for his errors. In some matches both coaches have complained about the refereeing, but andcoban insisted neither team criticized his decisions. He later resigned.
h2New officialsh2 Manduftanduoilu and the Central Refereeing Board intend to address the issue before such unprecedented events become commonplace. In football, officiating should not be the biggest issue.
“There is a feeling that every match is being affected by the officials. I disagree. In this country referees are subject to perhaps 10 times the pressure they feel in other European leagues. This unfortunately affects the spectators,” Manduftanduoilu said. Most diehard spectators in Turkey have seen the same referees for years, and they have already formed opinions and grudges based on past matches.
Maybe new faces are exactly what the world of Super League refereeing needs. In any case, it is hard to argue for keeping only the experienced officials with so many complaints being levelled against them.
“The [main] actors in fp’s headquarters were raided by the police late on Nov. 11 over claims that the andOzgandur Bugandun daily — which was launched after trustees were appointed to the Bugandun dailyand’s administration based on a controversial court order — was being printed at a printing house belonging to Zaman.
Prime Minister Davutoiluand’s remarks about a and”redlineand” came in response to a question about a government-backed crackdown on critical media. Just several days before the Nov.1 election, Turkey saw the taking over of the management of Koza ipek Holding by a group of trustees appointed by the government in an apparently politically motivated move.
Koza ipek Holding comprises 22 companies, including the Kanaltandurk and Bugandun TV channels, the Millet and Bugandun dailies, ipek University and a number of other subsidiaries. The trustees have not only fired dozens of journalists from the news outlets of the ipek Media Group.
The trustees have not only fired dozens of journalists from the news outlets of the ipek Media Group, they have also turned the groupand’s TV stations and newspapers, which used to have a critical stance, into government mouthpieces.
In yet another development on Wednesday, a detention warrant was issued for journalist Tuncay Opandcin as part of an investigation into the irregularities in the Sledgehammer trial. and”Sledgehammerand” is the name of a 2003-dated coup plot.
The detention warrant for Opandcin was issued based on the testimony of journalist Mehmet Baransuand’s ex-wife, who told prosecutors that Opandcin used to give Baransu documents to publish in return for money and that Baransu used to write andquotimportant news reportsandquot after meeting with Opandcin.
Baransu, who is currently behind bars, was the journalist who in 2010 broke the story about the Sledgehammer coup plot that aimed to topple the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.
In another development, one of the suspects, Kamuran Ergin, who was detained and then released under judicial supervision in connection with an attack on journalist Ahmet Hakan in October, has been released once again by a penal court of peace he was referred to for arrest because he did not check in at a police station on Friday.
According to a story in the Handurriyet daily on Wednesday, since Ergin was placed under judicial supervision, he has been required to check in at a police station every Monday and Friday. He has been referred to court for arrest after violating his release provisions, having failed to show up at a police station on Friday. The court decided on his release on the grounds that it could not be proven that he did not have a valid reason not to go to the police station. Ergin claimed he was extremely ill, making it impossible for him to pay a visit to the police station.
Only one of the seven suspects had been arrested in connection with the attack on Ahmet Hakan, which took place in front of the journalistand’s house in Istanbul on Oct. 1.
In its annual progress report on Turkey, released on Tuesday, the EU called for counter measures against the intimidation of journalists and for investigations into threats and attacks against journalists.
However, restrictions on freedom of the press continue to be a major challenge for journalists to perform their profession in the country, with many having to go to court over their articles or views.
In one recent examples of such restrictions, veteran journalist Ahmet Altan, an outspoken government critic, testified to prosecutors on Wednesday as part of two investigations concerning him on charges of insulting the president and and”inciting hatred and animosity among the public.andquot
One of the investigations was launched following a complaint by President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s lawyer, while the other was launched by the General Directorate of Penal Affairs of the Ministry of Justice.
Altan faces the accusations due to an interview he gave to grihat.com in April and interviews he gave to Bugandun TV and Samanyolu TV in September.
Speaking to reporters in front of the Istanbul Courthouse, Altan said if a president repeatedly violates the Constitution, he will most definitely be criticized.
Two separate investigations have also been launched into prominent journalist Cengiz andcandar over claims that he insulted President Erdogan in seven of his columns in the Radikal daily. Radikal reported that Erdoganand’s lawyer Ahmet andOzel had submitted a petition to the Istanbul Public Prosecutorand’s Office and said andcandar had attacked Erdoganand’s personal rights by insulting him in the media. In a written notice sent to andcandar, the prosecutorand’s office cited seven of andcandarand’s columns published on radikal.com.tr between July 26 and Aug. 19 as the reason for the investigation.
Under the presidency of Erdogan, it has been an almost daily occurrence in Turkey for journalists and public figures to face legal action on charges of insulting the president or the government and some even receive prison sentences. Several columnists, including Ertuirul andOzkandOk, Hasan Cemal and Perihan Maiden, are already facing investigations for insulting Erdogan, while andOzkandOk, a columnist for Handurriyet, is facing a 30-month prison sentence on charges of insulting a senior AK Party official.
Todayand’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bandulent Kenei was convicted of insulting the president and handed a suspended prison sentence of 21 months earlier this year on grounds that he insulted the president in a Twitter post. Kenei did not even mention the presidentand’s name in his tweet and his sentence has attracted worldwide condemnation.
Last month, TV producer and journalist Uiur Dandundar and SandOzcandu daily columnist Necati Dogru were also sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison by an Istanbul court for insulting former Minister Binali Yildirim and President Erdogan, respectively, though the court allowed them to pay a fine in lieu of serving their sentences.


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