ERZURUM - Hürriyet Daily News
Police officers specializing in ‘spotting hooligans’ will work during the derby. DAILY NEWS photo
Police are taking extensive security precautions as Galatasaray
supporters descend on
the eastern province of Erzurum to watch their sides contest the Turkish Super Cup on Aug. 12.
Erzurum Gov. Sebahattin Öztürk said a total of 1,543 police officers would be assigned to maintain security at the never-ending derby.
Turkish media also reported that additional police forces would come from Istanbul to Erzurum, with some of them “specialized in recognizing faces.”
Spor Toto Super League champion Galatasaray
and Ziraat Turkish Cup winner Fenerbahçe
will meet at the Yeni Erzurum Stadium for the traditional curtain raiser to the new season.
Turkey’s most important sports rivalry became all the more intense after the last day of the 2011-2012 season. Galatasaray
won the Super League title by holding out for a 0-0 draw at Fenerbahçe’s Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium on May 12, precipitating clashes between irate home team fans and police officers. The clashes continued after the stadium was evacuated and hooligans set a gas station on fire in Kadıköy.
Signs of similar tension already occurred earlier this week when police used pepper spray to disperse a crowd in Erzurum after chaos broke out as fans were trying to buy tickets for the game.
“Pepper spray is one of the legal methods for preventing fights,” Öztürk said. “There was chaos. The police didn’t use it for nothing.”