A footballer on a coach carrying a Turkish team said they “cheated death” after it was shot at on a motorway in northern Turkey last night, leaving the driver injured.
Fenerbahçe S.K players were not hurt in the attack, however 41-year-old driver Ufuk Kıran was wounded to the face amid a shower of bullets fired by an assailant.
Midfielder Mehmet Topal told Sky News: “We cheated death. God protect us. I hope our driver will be all right. Words fail me. It’s unbelievable.”
The coach was hit by gunfire on the left-hand side following Fenerbahçe’s 5-1 Super League away win against Çaykur Rizespor in the city of Rize.
Fenerbahçe – currently top of the Turkish football Super League table – were travelling to an airport in neighbouring city Trabzon to return to Istanbul.
The team made the flight and were met with a celebratory welcome by fans in Istanbul, who were waving banners and magenta flame torches in Sabiha Gökçen airport.
The club’s vice-president, Mahmut Uslu – who was also on the bus at the time – has accused the attacker of trying to “crash the bus and kill the players”.
Fenerbahce fans waiting for their players at Sabiha Gokcen airport tonight. pic.twitter.com/LFfg6BQeBB; It's an ultra life (@itsultralife01) April 4, 2015
Abdulcelil Oz, the governor of Trabzon, said that the driver – whose condition is stable and has been in intensive care in hospital – had believed he was hit by a stone.
The bullets are believed to have been fired from a hunting rifle, according to Sunday Zaman. However, the motives behind the attack are hoped to be found in an analysis of evidence and a search of the scene.
Fenerbahçe TV also affirmed that the coach was attacked by an assailant with a shotgun.
It said security officers on board quickly took control of the coach and safely stopped it after the driver was hit.
Mr Oz said an investigation was launched and vowed to catch the gunman. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish clubs condemned the attack.Reuse content