About recent news and my past
The last weeks have been very “different” and I know I may have let a lot of people down, so I wanted to share a bit of my past in more detail than what has been written about me in the news. This letter is for the people who trusted and supported me, to the people I achieved things with and went through hard times with. I don’t expect any sympathy and I don’t think anyone should ever take the path I did. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and am regretful about a lot of things.
I used to live in the UK with my mother and sister, around my teens we had financial difficulties and this meant we had to move several times. At times we couldn’t pay the bills and it was very stressful for me and my family. We had no other family in the UK and my mother didn’t have the means to get out of this situation. This had a lot of negative impacts on my education and social life. For 1-2 years it continued like this, I needed to be able to look after my family at a young age.
Since I was a kid, I was always interested in technology and games, I would spend as much time as possible at school in the library so I could access a PC. I would either do this or go to my friends house if I could since I didn’t have my own PC. Eventually the school I attended started a programme that provided PC’s to students who didn’t have one at home and didn’t have the financial ability to get one. This was probably one of the best things they could have done for me. With time, I tried to educate myself as much as possible in regards to writing scripts/coding/websites. I also spent a lot of time trying to get as good as possible at the games I played. I was very happy in the town I lived, I had a good social life, my academic performance was at the top of my year and my school would even send me to specialized courses to further improve on my talents.
We ended up having to move to York, here me and my mother had no friends/contacts. The new school I attended, there were much fewer students with families originating from other countries, I was also the only student with a Turkish background. I experienced a lot of racism and bullying because our financial situation wasn’t good. I didn’t have many “friends” here and I would only see them at school anyways, since I had to look after my little sister after school while my mother was at work. I went through times where I really wanted to give up, but eventually I found a way out.
The online game I played was very popular in the UK and around the world, the in-game currency could be sold for real money and I would sell my game currency to help my mother, it wasn’t high amounts but it was what I could do. One day my account got hacked and my in-game currency gone with it. I was upset and mad but I had to do something. From here on I focused more on hacking and bug abuse to get in-game currency which I could sell for real life money. I spent a lot of time developing myself at these things, I missed a lot of school too, but I would go without much sleep every single day. This continued for some time, I eventually paid off all my mothers debts and was financially strong enough to be able to look after myself and family. I also tried to help friends and others who we’re in need now that I could.
With time, people in the city I lived in started respecting me more and the ones who we’re racist/bullied me apologized, I made friends with some of them too. Even though I felt accomplished and as if I got ahead of the people who bullied me for not having much, I never wanted to let these emotions lead to being arrogant. Instead it was a source of confidence and It made me happy being able to help people who had financial difficulty. I also started enjoying having money to spend, being financially independent at a young age made me feel good, especially knowing I didn’t have it easy to start with. Unfortunately there’s no end to money and I got lost in chasing it.
Those thoughts of feeling accomplished were very wrong and I realize now I was completely blind to that. I was young and unaware that my actions we’re bad. Maybe it was my age, maybe it was that everything was behind a screen that made it seem not so bad to me at the time.
One December morning, reality hit. Police vans and cars had pulled up to the street I lived on. I was in bed playing on my console when an officer entered my room and started reading my rights to me. I was bewildered by the thought that this could actually happen, I was in shock. If my mother hadn’t left the country for a week to look after my grandma and attend a funeral, I’m sure she would have lost her mind. (For all she knew, I was earning money by playing games, which was strange to her but she had stopped questioning this after a while). After being interrogated for a few hours and being locked in a cell, I got home later that night. My house was turned upside down, everything was a mess. It all made me feel scared, as if I wasn’t safe in my own home. For weeks I cried, cried myself to sleep or couldn’t sleep at all. I deeply regretted everything but it was too late for that.
For around the next 9 months, I would have to go to the police station to sign bail. During this period I had no motivation to do anything, I felt as if I spent time or effort on anything, it could all go to waste the next day. I didn’t leave the house for months, I didn’t want to see friends either. The fear of uncertainty and everything going to waste the next day took over me. I got depressed, both my mental and physical health went into a downward spiral. It affected my mother and little sister too. Eventually my mother decided to move to Turkey, I wanted to deal this case and get it resolved. If I did nothing while waiting for my court date I would have gone crazy, I decided to attend university which I was taking a year off before going to before. So I got accepted and moved to Newcastle to attend university while I was on bail, this was around September 2016.
Even though I played LoL, I didn’t really have much interest in Esports, that was until I saw Fenerbahce establish a LoL team. I’d supported Fenerbahce since I was a kid and didn’t miss a match. My father had named me after a Fenerbahce legend, who was still playing when I was born. It was my childhood dream to be a part of Fenerbahce, though I played football in various teams when I was younger, I stopped once I moved to York. From now on, I also didn’t miss any LoL matches. I wanted to be involved in Esports and spent most of my days trying to improve. I streamed so more coaches could see me as well. I barely missed qualifying for the TCS, but also soon realised I would never be good enough as a player.
I was still on bail, I would go to York to sign on bail every 1-2 months. It had been nearly 1.5 years and this just kept dragging me down the whole time. The police couldn’t prove any of the accusations against me, eventually they used a law against me which basically says “If you don’t provide your passwords for your electronic devices you will be guilty for not doing this”. Normally this law is only used for extremely serious crimes and would never be used in my case. Many lawyers and friends who I got advice from also confirmed this. However my own lawyer advised me to cooperate with this, It seemed like I had no other choice or I’d be guilty without any accusations against me ever being proven. Until now everything had gotten delayed for over 1.5 years, I was stuck in limbo the whole time and that time was worse than wasted as my health deteriorated so much. After this my motivation for university was also gone, I was back to the worst, being depressed and scared everyday. Crying most days and not wanting to see anyone.
After what seemed like forever, there was finally a court date. The law firm dealing with my case was chosen from a list the Police had provided to me. Unfortunately almost every time I was in custody and saw a lawyer, it was somebody different from the firm. I could never get clear information about the accusations, the possible consequences or my legal situation. In the report the police or prosecution had written in regards to my case, I was made to look like a very different person. I couldn't fathom how things had gotten here and what they thought I was. The report also included that the police had been watching me since 2012. I was 15 or 16 years old at that time, all of this made me very confused and scared. I thought, “why wouldn’t they just warn/scare me while I was younger so that I wouldn’t get used to living that way?” It was as if they’d waited for me to be older than 18. I know I made a lot of mistakes, I know I did bad things, even if it isn’t as bad as what I was being made to look like. I waited nearly 2 years to resolve this and truly wanted to, maybe If I weren’t there all on my own and things didn’t look worse than they should have been for me, I would have stayed.
I lived all that time in limbo, in depression. I spent a lot of time thinking about my mistakes and trying to learn from them. Nearly 2 years of my life was worse than wasted, my health and family were also damaged by this. I couldn’t live like that anymore. After all that time wanting to do nothing, I’d also found some motivation in Esports, I didn’t want to let that go as well, I’d already lost so much, I didn’t think it would be possible to get into Esports if I wasted more time. I wanted a fresh start and so I left the UK.
The rest, most of you know it as OHM/McM/BUR/Fenerbahçe. During this time I worked really hard, I took on 2-3 roles in most of the teams I was in. With the lessons I learned I tried to help and contribute to the people around me. Even though there were hard times, I also experienced the best moments of my life with Esports. I fulfilled my childhood dream to be apart of Fenerbahçe. In the end, I guess it still went to waste, but all l can do is learn from my mistakes and be better in the future, hopefully get this situation resolved too. I apologize to everyone who I upset and let down. I know this recent news was disappointing to a lot of you, but sometimes your past doesn’t let go, no matter how hard you try.