Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan: Yeni Malatyaspor goalkeeper dies after earthquake in Turkey - what Yannik Bolasie said

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The 28-year-old Turkish goalkeeper lost his life following the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The Turkish goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, has died following Monday’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The Yeni Malatyaspor footballer is now one of more than 9,000 people who have lost their lives as a result of the earthquake.

His club, Yeni Malatyaspor, announced on Twitter: “Our goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, lost his life after being under the collapse of the earthquake. Rest in peace. We will not forget you, beautiful person.”

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It had been reported that Turkaslan was trapped under a collapsed residential building on 6 February but claims that he had died were initially denied by the President of the club, Haci Ahmet Yaman, who said rescue operations were still ongoing. His wife had been rescued from the rubble and asked for help on social media, adding that there were no excavators or cranes at the location. His body was then recovered on 7 February 2023.

WHO officials have warned the total death toll could be as high as 20,000 and rescuers fear that time is running out for survivors to be found. A 7.8 magnitude event struck the region around Kahramanmaras in the early hours of Monday morning, before a subsquent 7.5 magnitude tremor was recorded.

Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan’s career

Turkaslan was born in Yavuzeli, Turkey, in 1994 and began his youth career with Gaziantepspor in 2007. He then began his senior career with Bugsasspor in 2013 where he made 40 club appearances. The goalkeeper spent a short period on loan with Osmanlispor before formally signing with the club in 2017.

Turkaslan then stayed for the next three season before moving to Umraniyespor in 2020. The season after, the 28-year-old signed a one-year contract with Yeni Malatyaspor. He played six times for the Turkish second division club before his death earlier this week.

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What did Yannick Bolasie say?

The former Everton and Crystal Palace winger, Yannick Bolasie said on Twitter: “RIP brother Eyup Ahmet Turkaslan. One moment you can see someone in the dugout, the next moment they’re gone. The Caykur Rizespor winger also added “My condolences to all his family and team-mates at Yeni Malatyaspor. Devestating to hear and wish we can all continue to hlp everyone in need.”

Christian Atsu for Newcastle United in 2020Christian Atsu for Newcastle United in 2020
Christian Atsu for Newcastle United in 2020

Who is Christian Atsu?

A day after it was reported he had been pulled out from the rubble of a building ‘with injuries’, it is currently not known where the Hatayspor footballer Christian Atsu is, according to his agent.

It had been reported that the Hatayspor forward was trapped but had since been ‘removed from the wreckage’. However, it would now appear that the Ghanian forward is missing, with his agent clarifying the situation via a social media: “Following yesterday’s update from the club that Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts.”

Hatay was one of the areas closest to the epicentre of the earthquake and has such suffered extensive damage. The club’s vice-president Mustafa Ozat told Turkish radio yesterday: “Christian Atsu was removed from the wreckage with injuries. Unfortunately our sporting director Taner Savut is still under the rubble. Hatay was deeply affected. We are coming towards the end of the most dangerous hours.”

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Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton has spoken to the radio station Joy FM that there was ‘confusion’ as to where Atsu had been sent: “Yesterday, the ministry of Foreign affairs here informed me that they wanted to confirm if Christian Atsu had been found and rescued, and sent to a medical centre. However, in all the confusion - which is understandable under the circumstances (as you are rescued you are put in an ambulance and sent to the hospital) - they are not sure yet which particular hospital or health facility he has been sent to.

“This morning again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured me they are working feverishly to find out which facility he was sent to and will get back to me as soon as possible because I have been on them that I need to go and see him.”

Atus, 31, played 31 games for Newcastle and has also had spells with Chelsea, Everton and Bournemouth. The forward has won 65 caps for Ghana and joined Hatayspor in September 2022 following a season with the Saudi Arabian side Al-Raed.

On Sunday 5 February, Atsu scored the winning goal in the 90th minute of Hatayspor’s Super Lig match against Kasimpasa.

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