Trabzonspor striker Burak Yilmaz completes controversial Besiktas switch

The 33-year-old forward is one of the few players to have featured for each of the ‘big four’ teams in Turkey

Burak Yilmaz has completed a contentious move to Besiktas after Trabzonspor confirmed that they have agreed to sell the veteran striker for a fee of €1.36 million.

The Turkey striker had a previous spell with Besiktas between 2006 and 2008 and has since appeared for Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor and Galatasaray, the three other top clubs in his country.

Now 33, Burak returns to the Black Eagles having made just seven appearances for Trabzonspor this season. He was fined and suspended by the club in November after he was seen gesturing and cursing towards their supporters when being substituted during their match with Bursaspor.

Many Besiktas fans are unhappy with the club’s decision to re-sign Burak, but chairman Fikret Orman insisted on completing the deal, citing the players’ admiration for the club and their problems in attack as the grounds for his return.

Burak explained his delight at completing a transfer to the club his “heart belongs to” in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“Life is understood retrospectively but lived preemptively. While I was trying to live my life preemptively, life has introduced me to the club which my heart belongs to. I believe this reunion has a beautiful and meaningful meaning for which we will look back in the future and realise,” the striker wrote.

“I’m already excited and proud for this reunion. I want to thank Senol Gunes [Besiktas head coach], who made me wear the Besiktas uniform again and everyone who believes in me. I will do everything in my power to be worthy of this trust.”

Burak, who has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, was of interest to Besiktas last summer, only to turn down his former side in favour of staying with Trabzonspor.

Besiktas fans’ dislike for Burak dates back to 2012, when the Black Eagles were on the verge of beating the defending champions Galatasaray, before the striker appeared to dive for a late penalty which Selcuk Inan converted to see the match end in a 3-3 draw.

Since then, many Besiktas supporters have referred to Burak as the ‘thief Burak’.

The striker has addressed the supporters’ discontent at the deal by outlining his intentions to fight for the club “till the last drop of his sweat”.

“I respect the criticism and praise from every individual of great Besiktas fans. I just want you to know that, from the moment I put on the Besiktas jersey, I will be aware of the responsibility that comes with being a Besiktas player and the values with which it brings. I will fight for Besiktas till the last drop of my sweat.”

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