By Hilmi Sever
SALZBURG, Austria (AA) - Turkish football club Medipol Basaksehir’s Senegalese forward Demba Ba said he is very happy to play football in Turkey, a country where people have freedom to fulfill their religious obligations.
Demba Ba, who is in Austria currently for the Medipol Basaksehir’s pre-season camp, spoke to Anadolu Agency.
He said that his friends questioned his decision for transferring from Chelsea (London based football club) to Istanbul's Besiktas in the past.
’’I am a Muslim and work in a Muslim country. I am very happy to fulfill my religious obligations. Turkey provides religious freedom to people. I can go to mosque in order to pray whenever I want. Women in Turkey are free to wear their headscarves. If they don’t prefer, they don’t have to wear their headscarves. This is what we don’t witness everywhere in the world,’’ he said.
- ‘’Turkey is a country which provides full freedom’'
The 34-year-old footballer witnessed that Muslims face some problems in the countries where he played football before.
"I've never had trouble. Because everyone knew me very well and no one could judge me because of my religious beliefs. Some managers told Muslims footballers that they should not fast during the month of Ramadan. People also abuse Muslim women who wear headscarf in public. Those things never exist in Turkey. I repeat, Turkey is a country which provides full freedom. No matter what foreign press says about Turkey, I live in this country and I am doing my work here. I can easily say that Turkey is not a country which foreign media portray [accurately] in their news.''
- ''There are people in Western countries who are uncomfortable with the Islamic faith''
The Senegalese player believes that the Islamic communities cannot express themselves very well.
"My life's goal is much more than football. There are people in the Western countries who are uncomfortable with the Islamic faith. Muslim countries have been always attacked but the Western countries will never destroy us as long as we remain strong,’’ he also stated.
* Writing by Muhammed Enes Calli