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The 59-year-old alleges the Istanbul club have fallen victim to a plot by the ruling AK Party to overcome Mustafa Kemal and the republic's founder's legacy

Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim has used his defence speech to hit out at the Turkish government for what he feels is a conspiracy to harm the club.

The 59-year-old is currently on trial for a string of allegations pertaining to the club's title run last season - charges which Yildirim feels are unjustified.

The Istanbul giants were famously supported by the Turkish republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, but the current government, led by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been constantly accused of trying to destroy Ataturk's legacy, despite his revered position in Turkish society.

Yildirim implied that he subscribed to the theories, and voiced his belief that the attack on Fenerbahce had political origins.

"The Republic of Fenerbahce has developed side by side with the Republic of Turkey. It has been representing the youth of the country, who follow Ataturk, for decades," Yildirim told the court.

"That is the reason there are efforts to damage us. No matter how you judge the case, you cannot destroy Fenerbahce.

"Those facilities, the stadium and the training grounds: I built them all!"

Yildirim went on to pour scorn on the prosecutions case, saying that ordinary functions organised by the club were being used to prove non-existent guilt.

"The prosecution has used some of Fenerbahce's ordinary dinner events as evidence. Those events were organised by us, but some of the prosecution also attended them.

"Did they commit a crime as well?"

This is not the first time Erdogan has been the subject of controversy in Turkish football. The 57-year-old was roundly booed at the opening of Galatasaray's Turk Telekom Arena.

The trial continues.

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