Five people who have given a large part of their lives to serving Genclerbirligi were on Saturday kicked out the club forever. The Genclerbirligi Disciplinary Board banned the five for bringing the club into disrepute. Two others were banned for one year and six months respectively.
Their crime? They decided to run against Chairman Ilhan Cavcav at last May's general congress. When it was obvious that Cavcav had stacked the elections in the last week through signing up some 5,000 Galatasaray supporters the "alternative management", as the group became known as, decided to take the matter to court in order to have the results overturned.
While Turkey may not be in the EU I had always thought that here people had the right to go to the courts to seek justice. Sure, the justice system here can be extremely slow and sometimes completely wrong (just take a look at the number of instances when the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Turkey's judicial processes to be less than sound) but still the right to go to court exists.
Not to the Genclerbirligi Discipline Board. Their ruling today was that merely by bringing the case to the courts the "alternative management" deserved to be kicked out of the club.
Atilla Aytek (the man who ran against Cavcav for the chairmanship), Zeki Ünaldı, Yaşar Durak, Muzaffer Özbayrak and Bülent Atlas were the five banned on Saturday. Ali Riza Onat got a one-year ban and Fatih Dagci a six-month ban.
News of the bans is only just filtering through to Gencler fans but this reaction from one poster on the Alkaralar forum sums it up so far.
And so Cavcav has managed to silence the opposition. Sort of reminds me of another old bloke who happened to pass away just a few days ago. Rumours that Cavcav shall soon have to referred to as Genclerbaşi and that he has plans to change the names of days and months are just that though. A revolving gold statue isn't out of the question though.
Further background on this sorry tale can be found here.