Mehmet Topal and teammate Mert Zeybek were shot at as they were on their way home from Fenerbahce’s training grounds on Tuesday. The players were unharmed as Topal’s car was fitted with bullet-proof glass.
— FIFPro (@FIFPro) August 11, 2015
The attack occurred in Istanbul as the players were on their way home after the morning training session at the Samandira Can Bartu grounds. The players were near a toll booth when the unknown assailant shot at the vehicle. The bullet-proof glass did its job and prevented the bullet from injuring the players. Both Topal and Zeybek gave statements to the police after the attack according to the Guardian. The club released a statement on their website about the attack.
“This was a terrorist attack. We condemn these armed attacks on our players and hope justice will prevail. Our players Mehmet Topal and Uygar Mert Zeybek were fortunate to be travelling in a vehicle with bullet-proof glass which prevented serious injury.”
This is the second time this year that Fenerbahce has been attacked by a gunman. In April, the team bus was shot at with a shotgun as the team was traveling to the airport after an away game in Trabzon. The driver was hit in the face and was hospitalized, but none of the players sustained any injuries.
Topal, 29, has 49 caps for the Turkish national team and has been a Fenerbahce player since 2012. He’s previously played for Galatasaray before joining Spanish side Valencia.
The Turkish football federation has suspended league and cup play for a week after the attack.
The federation president, Yildirim Demiroren, said: “We believe the incident was a terrorist attack, targeting not only Fenerbahce but Turkish sports. We decided to postpone all league and cup games for a week. We took this decision because we attach importance to the players’ psychology.”