Turkish Soccer Fans Banned From Stadiums

Claire Sloniewsky, Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 4, 2023 fans of Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, two of the most famous Turkish soccer teams, were banned from attending the next weekend’s game against another popular Turkish team, Kayserispor, because fans were chanting anti-government remarks and slogans at the previous match. The remarks correspond to the government’s weak recovery effort after a dangerous earthquake killed over 50,000 people within southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6th, 2023. This banning has contributed to an already blooming social division. 

Most fans are furious about the banning and the lack of effort from the government to assist in the much-needed recovery process. At a separate game against Antalyaspor, fans threw thousands of toys onto the pitch to donate to the young children hurt by the earthquake. The people have been demanding help for everyone hurt, homeless, or just negatively affected by the earthquake. Following the quake, The Union of Clubs– an organization that represents each team within Turkey’s top football league–released a statement stating that politics should not correspond with lighthearted football games. This statement was soon translated as an implicit condemnation of the fans’ calls for the government to resign, which was not how it was intended. 

As protests at football games continue to occur throughout Turkey, fans have been scolded and told to suppress their emotions regarding governmental affairs. These fans are still demanding reparation costs to be paid by the government relating to the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria.