Turkish Football Federation fines Diyarbakır club for giving itself city’s Kurdish name
Amedspor players during a game against Galatasaray. AA PhotoThe Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has levied a 10,000-Turkish Lira fine against third-tier Diyarbakır-based club Amedspor on the grounds that it changed its name and emblem without official approval.
The TFF said it was sanctioning the club because it was using a name and logo that had not been officially registered with the federation.
Amedspor was known as Diyarbakır Büyükşehir Belediyespor until October 2014, when the club’s congress elected to change the name of the club to the Kurdish name for Diyarbakır, which is mostly populated by Kurds.
The federation’s decision is a “legal scandal,” said club chair İhsan Avcı, noting that the Diyarbakır Associations Department had previously approved the name change, as well as the club’s new yellow, red and green colors, which are traditional Kurdish colors.
Avcı said the TFF did not have the authority to fine the club following approval from the associations department. “We have sent our defense on the issue. We will demand the rectification of this wrong, as well as an apology to the club [and the people of Diyarbakır],” he said.
The club’s decision to dub itself Amedspor precipitated a great deal of anger on social media, with nationalists claiming the name change was an affront to the putative unity of the Turkish nation.
Earlier this week, the TFF suffered a major blow when one of its top sponsors, Ülker, withdrew its support for football due to chronic violence and mismanagement, which includes the TFF’s widely maligned decision to implement an e-ticketing system that requires supporters to pay extra fees to acquire a pass for league games while also surrendering personal information to the state.