Turkish basketball player Nilay Aydogan found dead

Turkish basketball player Nilay Aydogan found dead among the rubble following devastating earthquake that has killed more than 33,000 across the region

  • The country’s basketball federation announced the sad loss of Nilay Aydogan
  • Aydogan played for host of teams in the country including Cankaya and Samsun

Turkish basketball player Nilay Aydogan has been found dead following last week’s devastating earthquake, the sport’s federation in the country has announced.

Aydogan, 30, who played for Turkish Super League side Cankaya University, had reportedly gone to visit her grandmother in Malayta when the devastating earthquake struck, collapsing the apartment block. 

The basketball player and her grandmother were found dead among the rubble, with the search continuing in hundreds of Turkish and northern Syrian settlements to try and find people still alive. 

In a statement, the Turkish Basketball Federation said that they had learned of the news with ‘deep sadness’.

‘We have learned with deep sadness that Nilay Aydogan, the national player of Cankaya University, one of the ING Women’s Basketball Super League teams, lost her life in the earthquake disaster,’ they said.

Nilay Aydogan – a female Turkish basketball player – has been found dead following the earthquakes

‘May God have mercy on the deceased, we offer our condolences to her family, relatives and basketball community.’

Malayta, where Aydogan was reportedly visiting, is roughly 135 miles east of Kahramanmaras, in the south east of the country, close to the border with Syria. 

Aydogan had played for a number of teams across her career in Turkey, including Osmaniye, Yalova and Mersin in the Turkish second division.

She played for Canik Belediye during the 2017-18 campaign, before moving onto Cankaya. 

Having enjoyed a season with Cankaya, she moved to Mersin for a season in the second tier, before returning to the Ankara side. 

She had also enjoyed appearances for the country’s youth teams earlier on in her career. 

The earthquake that struck in the early hours of last Monday has devastated towns and cities

Her final game for Cankaya came in a victory against Hatayspor days before the earthquake struck. 

Aydogan is the latest athlete in Turkey to have lost their life in the tragic natural disaster to hit the country last week. 

The search goes on for Christian Atsu, the Hatayspor player, who went missing following the earthquake last week. 

Mixed reporting from a number of outlets last week, stemming from statements being released saying he had been found and was in hospital, led to some people to believe he had been found. That turned out to not be the case. 

They know where the building is, and they’re trying their best to rescue everybody. They know that there are people still under the rubble, but the problem is that they don’t have the equipment necessary to get them out,’ the player’s partner told the BBC.

Christian Atsu’s (left) whereabouts are still unknown following the catastrophic earthquake

She went on to describe the various bits of conflicting information regarding his whereabouts as ‘quite shocking’. 

A number of the Ghana international team-mates were reportedly pulled from the rubble alive. 

Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut is also reportedly still missing. The club notified the Turkish Super Lig last week that they would not play the remaining games of the season owing to the tragic circumstances of the past week. 

‘Hatayspor sent a letter. They notified us that they will not play this season’s games,’ the president of the Turkish Union of Clubs Ali Koc said at a news conference. 

‘If Gaziantep FK also wants to withdraw from the league, we plan to continue with 17 teams, provided that the rights of these two clubs remain intact.’

The Gaziantep region was one of the worst affected by last week’s natural disaster, situated close to the epicentre.  

Meanwhile, Turkish second division side Yeni Malatyaspor confirmed the death of their goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan on social media a day after the earthquake struck. 

‘Our goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, lost his life after being under the collapse of the earthquake. Rest in peace,’ they wrote. ‘We will not forget you, beautiful person.’

It has left more than 30,000 people dead and thousands more displaced, with smaller settlements, towns and cities all lying in ruin. 

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