62 football fans detained across Turkey sent to court
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyA total of 62 members of Turkey’s leading football supporter groups, detained in an operation in four cities, were sent to court Sept.30 on charges including committing murder, causing injury with a gun and engaging in armed conflict, while 27 were released.
Sixty-two fans, who had been in detention at Istanbul’s Organized Crime Department since being detained in a dawn operation on Sept. 27, were sent to Istanbul Courthouse on Sept. 30. The detainees are accused of acts such as murder with a gun, attempted injuring with gun, armed conflict, intentional injury, opposing law number 6136, drug possession, and attempted tampering with evidence, according to the Istanbul Organized Crime Department’s written statement.
The statement said an operation against the criminal syndicates within some of the football supporters’ groups had been launched, which was to be referred to either as “football terror” or as “tribune terror,” upon a ruling of Istanbul’s chief public prosecutor’s office.
Interior Minister Muammer Güler said on Sept. 27 that the operations were not directly linked to law number 6222, popularly known as the Law on Violence in Sports, but rather that the detentions targeted an organized crime group. Güler said the operation was carried out because of “attempts to loot, threaten opposition players and take advantage of sports clubs,” adding that former officials of the clubs were also part of the investigation.
Alen Markaryan, the former head of Beşiktaş’s supporter group, Çarşı, and Sefa Kalya, the leader of Fenerbahçe’s leading supporter group, Genç Fenerbahçeliler, were among the 62 detainees who were taken to the courthouse.
Sefa Kalya objected to getting on the police bus that was to carry the detainees but was put on the bus by force by police officers.
Istanbul’s Organized Crime Department had conducted an operation in Istanbul on Sept. 27, detaining some 89 members of the main football supporter groups, Çarşı, Genç Fenerbahçeliler and Galatasaray’s Ultraslan, while simultaneous raids had taken place in İzmir, Mersin and Kocaeli. Some of the detained had been released upon the call of the public prosecutor.
Footage showing the details of the raids were distributed to the press.