The leading players from Europe and Latin America prefer Turkish soccer teams because of the reduced tax rates the Turkish taxation system offers them, as players have to pay 40 percent of their income in taxes in Europe.
The tax rate for soccer players in Turkey remains at 15 percent. Because of this, many make more money playing for a Turkish team than their colleagues do even if the amount of money they receive for their transfer is less than that of players in Europe.
Before the kickoff of the new season, Turkey's big three teams -- Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray -- showed their financial strength by investing a great deal in acquiring new players in an attempt to create strong squads. Galatasaray acquired famous names Elano and Abdul Kader Keita whereas Fenerbahçe signed Brazilian stars Cristian Oliveira Baroni and Andre dos Santos and Beşiktaş national star Nihat Kahveci and Italian player Matteo Ferrari.
Making more money appears to be the most important motive for these players in picking Turkey. Players have a difficult time in Europe because of high tax rates. In Britain, soccer players have to pay 45 percent of their annual income as tax; this figure is 43 percent in Spain. Players pay only 15 percent in Turkey.
Mehmet Aurelio, who is currently on the Galatasaray transfer list, moved to Spain last year for the sake of an additional 500,000 euros. Aurelio now seeks to make a transfer back to a Turkish team because his income was halved due to the taxation system in Spain.
The players who make more money in Turkey than they do in Europe rely on FIFA's adjudication when their teams want to send them away because of poor performance. The current 100 dossiers filed by players from the lineups of Turkish teams with the relevant FIFA units shows the magnitude of legal problems; Turkish clubs experience especially hard times because they agree to pay excessive transfer amounts to foreign players.
Troubled Galatasaray star Lincoln was making 1.5 million euros in Schalke, whereas Galatasaray was paying him about 4 million euros every year. The Brazilian player will receive only half of this amount in Germany now.
Despite financial difficulties, Galatasaray paid 7.5 million euros for the transfer of Elano; the Brazilian player will receive 3 million euros annually.
Keita, whose transfer from Lyon to Galatasaray cost 8 million euros, will receive 2.2 million euros yearly; similarly, Fenerbahçe will pay 2 million euros to its Brazilian players Andre Santos and Cristian.
Nihat, who returned from Spain to Beşiktaş, will make 3.5 million euros annually at Beşiktaş. He was making only 2 million in Spain.