Police violence mars Fener celebrations

Police violence mars Fener celebrations

Police violence mars Fener celebrations

A police office sprays gas to fans outside the Sabiha Gökçen Airport, where the Fenerbahçe supporters were about to welcome the cup-winning volleyball team. Hürriyet photo by Semih Bahadır

Police used pepper gas and one fan’s foot was broken as Fenerbahçe fans welcomed the women’s volleyball team after their European Champions League victory early yesterday.

A group of Fenerbahçe fans were at Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul to welcome the team, who claimed the top honor in European volleyball after beating RC Cannes in three straight sets (25-14, 25-22, 25-20) in the final in Baku, Azerbaijan, after midnight on March 25, Hürriyet reported on its website.

“I saw it with my own eyes, police hit a fan who was trying to give her club scarf to the team,” Fenerbahçe Universal passer Naz Aydemir tweeted on her personal account. “That was how it started; there was no provocation [from the fans] before that.”

Doğan news agency said a 12-year-old female fan suffered a broken foot after being hit by the police, who also used pepper gas to disperse the crowd.

Fenerbahçe fans took to social media to call Istanbul Chief of Police Hüseyin Çapkın to resign, using the hashtag #istanbulemniyetmuduruistifa (Istanbul chief of police, resign). The hashtag became a top worldwide trend on the microblogging website.

Fenerbahçe Universal’s middle blocker Duygu Bal also wrote on her Twitter account the police attacked on the team bus as well.

“We condemn [the police intervention],” Fenerbahçe’s middle blocker Duygu Bal wrote on her Twitter account. “Looking down on those people [being hit by police] overshadowed the best moment of my life. … I haven’t seen anything like that! First they tried to protect us then they attempted to attack our bus! Shame on them!”

Naz Aydemir added the team was affected by the pepper gas as well.

“It was not easy to breathe after the gas entered the bus through the air conditioning,” Aydemir said. “It was as if we brought a terrorist to the country!”