İzmir – Doğan News Agency
to the supporters' groups of the Göztepe and Karşıyaka football clubs. DHA photo
Eight people were arrested in İzmir yesterday for planning to disrupt Nevruz festivities on March 21, the most important holiday of the Kurdish population.
According to the police officials, the suspects sent messages to each other on social media websites in which they wrote that they would “not allow” the celebrations to take place.
İzmir police found out that the suspects belonged to the supporters' groups of the Göztepe and Karşıyaka football clubs, which are both based in İzmir and compete in the Bank-Asya First Division, the second-tier of Turkish football. The individuals were reportedly angry that the match between the two sides that was due to take place on March 17 was postponed by a day because of Nevruz festivities.
An investigation was launched as soon as the police determined the IP’s of the users. The suspects have been charged with inciting hatred and violence and their computers were seized.
İzmir, the third largest city in Turkey located on the Western Aegean coast, is home to a significant Kurdish migrant population.