Turkish footballer Ahmet Calik has been killed in a car crash at the age of 27. The defender, who represented his country on eight occasions between 2015 and 2017, was contracted to Konyaspor and made 51 appearances for the Super Lig club prior to his passing.
Calik began his career at Genclerbirligi after progressing through the club’s youth ranks in 2011 and joined Konyaspor after a three-year stint at Galatasaray in 2020.
An investigation has reportedly been opened to determine the circumstances of the crash that took his life in Ankara this morning.
His death has sparked plenty of tributes from across the football world, with the Turkish FA releasing a heartfelt statement upon receiving the sad news.
“It is with deep sadness that we learned that Ahmet Calik, football player of Ittifak Holding Konyaspor, who also played in our national team, passed away as a result of a traffic accident,” the statement read.
“May Allah have mercy on the deceased. Our condolences to his family, relatives, Ittifak Holding Konyaspor Club and the Turkish football community.”
Muharrem Kasapoglu, Turkey’s minister for sport, went on to add: “I have learned with deep regret that our national football player Ahmet Calik, who plays for Konyaspor, passed away in a traffic accident on the Ankara – Nigde highway.
“May God have mercy on the late Ahmet Calik, who also served in our national team. My condolences to his family, Konyaspor and the entire football community.”
Calik made his international debut for Turkey against Greece back in 2015 and was named in their Euro 2016 squad but failed to make an appearance at the tournament.
All three of his previous clubs released statements of their own in the wake of his passing, with Konyaspor opting to highlight his positive relationship with their supporters.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our football player Ahmet Calik, who has won the love of our fans and our city since the first day he came to our Konyaspor,” they tweeted.
“Condolences to all of us, especially to the family of our football player Ahmet Calik.”
Calik started out as a youth prospect at Genclerbirligi in 2004 and successfully worked his way up the ladder to earn his first professional contract seven years later.
The defender made his Super Lig debut against Fenerbahce in 2013 and managed to hold down a regular place in the side due to injuries to Ante Kulusi and Debatik Curri.
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The defender, who represented Turkey at every age level before receiving his first senior call-up, played 18 times for the club this season.
He made his final bow for Konyaspor on Sunday, picking up a yellow card during a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Sivasspor.
In total, Calik racked up more than than 220 professional club appearances during his career, scoring eight goals in the process.