Turkish footballers shave heads to protest minister

Turkish footballers shave heads to protest minister

EDİRNE - Doğan News Agency
Turkish footballers shave heads to protest minister

A teammate has cut hair of the players and administrators of an amateur İpsala football team in a protest to raise conscienceless for cancer patients. DHA photo

The players and administrators of the northwestern province of Edirne’s İpsala amateur football team took the field on April 21 with buzz cuts to raise awareness for cancer patients, while protesting an action by Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar.

The team said they had been moved by the act of cancer patient Dilek Özçelik, who was offended when Bayraktar gave her some money after she asked for help regarding her treatment. Members of the team said they wanted to support Özçelik and other cancer patients.

The İpsala team players took the field at Edirne’s Saraçhane Stadium with a banner that read “We wish cancer patients a quick recovery,” just before their playoff game with Kirişhanespor in the 1st Amateur League.

“This week, an unfortunate incident took place during the environment and urban planning minister’s visit to Edirne. Our friends did not remain insensitive to that and came up with this idea. We had our hair cut to support all cancer patients. I wish a quick recovery to Dilek,” İpsala team’s coach Şükrü Çeşme said.
“I am a barber, so I cut the hair of the players, administrators and technical staff after that decision,” one of the footballers, Volkan Korkmaz, said.

During his visit to Edirne on April 14, when Bayraktar was on his way to pray at a mosque, Özçelik approached him and requested help with the supply of her medicine. Bayraktar put some money in her pocket. As Bayraktar walked out of the mosque, she handed him back the money saying, “I am not a beggar.”