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TURKEY > Turkish government to ban political slogans in football games

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DAILY NEWS Photo, Emrah Gürel

DAILY NEWS Photo, Emrah Gürel

Supporters will be banned from chanting political slogans during next year’s football games, Turkey’s interior minister has said as the government attempts to grapple with politicized fans in the wake of this summer’s Gezi Park protests.

“We are adding bad political and ideological slogans to the list of illegal demonstrations in football stands, or behavior not complying with sporting ethics,” Muammer Güler said ahead of a
 workshop on “Security in Sports Events.” “They are already banned by international rules as well.”

Güler’s statement came in the midst of a summer where Turkey’s football fans have discovered their impact on the political stage. Fans of bitter rivals, including Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, together joined the Gezi Park protests, which turned into nationwide anti-government rallies after a heavy-handed police crackdown on a sit-in against a city renovation plan in Istanbul.

Beşiktaş, whose leading fan group, çArşı, played a huge role in clashes with the police, will play its home games at the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium of Kasımpaşa during the İnönü Stadium’s renovation process. Amid concerns about whether fans from differing political views will clash before and after games, a report has emerged that Beşiktaş is requiring fans to sign a document when purchasing their season tickets that bars them from any political chants. The document said the club had the right to cancel season tickets in the event of such behavior. The club said the document was unchanged from last year.

“Clubs have [their fans] signed necessary documents during the season ticket sales. Of course, we are following this,” Güler said.

The minister said the restrictions, which were first listed in Law No. 6222, which is widely known as the “Law on Violence in Sports,” which went into effect in 2011, are “about any slogans exceeding the limits of sports.”

“It is clear that political and ideological slogans do not comply with sport’s spirit,” Güler said. “That includes profanity or non-sporting behavior. The rules are related to all of those.”

July/31/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

An Observer

8/1/2013 1:08:55 PM

Wily football supporters will not be easily coerced into following the party line... Watch this space.

Richard Wyatt

8/1/2013 12:33:13 PM

It's all a fix!

Brit in Turkey

8/1/2013 11:48:48 AM

american american: Chairman Mao's book is red.

anton supertramp

8/1/2013 11:32:18 AM

you can only drink ayran to this :)

Çılgın Kanarya

8/1/2013 3:16:53 AM

This is simply yet another outrageous attack on freedom of expression. In other countries, such as Italy & the former Yugoslav republics, football supporters are extremely politicized, yet UEFA never intervenes in cases of related chanting & banners, so the AKP shouldn't use "international rules" as an excuse. I don't remember AKP objecting to banners condemning Israel (quite rightly) in 2010 for Mavi Marmara! As usual with these despots, everything's fine until it's them who are targeted!

ege capulcu mustafa

8/1/2013 3:07:57 AM

Don't drink, don't smoke, don't go out when pregnant, don't protest, don't ask for your rights, don't expect a free media, don't do this don't do that. All Turkish citizens are expected to be sheep. But hold on , 50% are already sheep, that only leaves 50% to go.

american american

8/1/2013 2:40:25 AM

mehmet, i think it is a green book. if the majority of football fans want to chant, how does your claim of protecting the majority hold up?

young genius

7/31/2013 11:18:44 PM

Pressure society and watch what happens.

Can Lamberoglu

7/31/2013 9:28:35 PM

Everyone is being shut up. One by one. Journalists, Architects, Engineers, Businesses, Doctors, Lawyers. Hotels, Students, Pot Bangers, Media. Soon there will be a law against speaking at all, or being somewhere. They are really going nuts in their desperation. Lower the election threshold so that we can establish an equilibrium. With or without the AKP (preferably with their support).

Mehmet Ungrateful

7/31/2013 8:53:11 PM

You will chant what we want you to chant, you will drink what we say you have to drink, you will learn what we want you to learn. Erdogan will be issuing everyone with a little red book
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