Jun 03 2018

Ali Koç becomes the new president of Fenerbahçe

Turkish businessman Ali Koç, a third-generation member of Turkey's wealthiest Koç family, became the new president of the Fenerbahçe sports club after winning the election on Sunday against the incumbent Aziz Yıldırım, who has been the president of the club since 1998.

Founded in 1907 in İstanbul, Fenarbahçe is one of Turkish football's big three football clubs, with millions of fans and a long history. “But the team is beleaguered, on and off the field. It may take something of a superhero to unseat the entrenched incumbent, Aziz Yildirim, and divine a resurrection for Fenerbahce,” the New York Times said on Friday. 

According the latest tally, Ali Koç gathered at least 16092 against 4644 votes of Aziz Yıldırım.

Fenerbahçe’s presidential elections became a nation-wide event, as Turkey heads presidential and parliamentarian elections on June 24. Many on social media saw a political symbolism in Fenerbahçe’s elections and shared posts saying than Koç’s win would be another step for change in the country. 

Meanwhile, Turkey's main opposition party's presidential hopeful Muharrem Ince has already posted a tweet congratulating Ali Koç and Fenerbahce club for "bringing the change" and thanked Aziz Yildirim for his service. Ince added "now it is time for Turkey to make the change."

Under the presidency of Yıldırım, the club has experienced many ups and downs in the last two decades, however his last seven years has been marked with conspiracy theories, disagreements with fans and financial instability. Yıldırım refused to address those problems and criticised his rival Koç for for saying Fenerbahçe's economy was "collapsing." On the other hand, Koç offered more transparency and professionalism for the club and plans to restructure its financial management.

Turkish President Erdogan, during an interview a day before stated that he supports ''the experience'' in today's elections, indication that he is with Aziz Yıldırım who has been presiding over the club for the last 20 years. 

Many of leading social media accounts of pro-Erdogan twitter have been supporting Aziz Yıldırım and attacking Ali Koç for days.