November Thursday is a very important day for Turkish basketball… For the first time, three-candidate presidential elections will be held at the General Assembly of the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF).
We talked to Erman Kunter, the most experienced of these names, about the election process.
– Do you consider yourself lucky?
– We are very hopeful. We see ourselves close to winning. It was studied in a narrow period of 6 weeks. The current president has been in office for 5 years, he is involved. Harun Erdenay has been preparing for a long time, too, in terms of getting to know the delegates. It would be nice if we had 1 more week.
– What is your difference from other candidates?
– We do not go to delegate visits by private planes. We hear it done, we know. Of course, it is difficult with the scheduled flight, but in the end, we reached everywhere! We had one-on-one contact with 85-90 percent of the delegates. We tour the whole region in 1 day.
– Hidayet Türkoğlu’s last ‘Project’ move…
– He says for the Abdi İpekçi Sports Hall, ‘The roof was flowing, it was not earthquake resistant’. This is not believable from my point of view. His pose with the minister is the message ‘He supports me, not Harun Erdenay’.
– If you are elected president, what is the first thing you will do the next day?
– We attach great importance to transparency. There has to be nothing hidden. All revenues of the federation should be known and audited by everyone. If we win the election, the first job will be to audit the federation’s budget.
– What are you uncomfortable with in this process?
– We have been saying ‘merit, transparency, participation’ since the first day. I haven’t heard that from the other two candidates yet. These are universal values. The whole world is now transparent. Today, in Japan or Finland, the prime minister resigns after failing to account for 100 dollars. When it comes to merit… 3 national teams were formed. The simplest example is there!
– The issue of transparency…
– Not at the moment. Which sponsor gave what, who took what? How much were the league rights sold for? We don’t know anything. The figure that can turn the regional leagues is paid as a salary to a consultant! There is extravagance.
– Clubs in the lower leagues are very troubled…
– Teams in Anatolia don’t even have 2 thousand liras to go away! They get money from the hardware store and the nut shop. That’s how he takes the team away. He makes the jersey for his wife and friend. Managers have their jerseys washed in their own home, as they did 40 years ago. Even in Istanbul, there are clubs where local governments allocate buses.
– Extravagance shock is discussed…
– Consultants are paid numbers that I do not want to pronounce. Going to Belgrade by private plane. The official vehicle is sent from the front! This is now the end of extravagance. If we remove the extravagance, all the financial problems of the clubs in the lower leagues will be over.
– There is a lot of trouble in the infrastructure…
– They dried up the infrastructure. Clubs complain about not being able to find a contact person. Even in Istanbul, infrastructure clubs have this problem. They say, ‘We walk around like headless chickens’. Basketball gathered in 28-29 provinces. Other places are dry. There is no social responsibility project. According to his man, 10 balls are given to one place and 50 balls to the other. There will be no such thing with us. We are not polarizing. Whatever the world view, we are trying to reach everywhere. We try to be unifying.
– How is your approach?
– We are warmly welcomed, but there is also shyness. People we know to be close to us don’t want to be photographed.