As I’m sure many of you were aware, there were a whole bunch of international football matches last night and I’m pretty sure all of them started with a minute’s silence for the terrible attacks that took place in Paris last Friday night.
I’m also pretty sure that most nations managed to complete this without any trouble whatsoever – I mean why would you disrespect a moment like that? There were even some great scenes at Wembley last night when the English and the French fans both sang the French national anthem together.
However, there was one nation that just couldn’t help themselves even in these circumstances, as Turkish fans decided to boo and scream ‘Allahu Akbar’ during the minute’s silence that preceded their friendly match against Greece:
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Seriously disgusting and disrespectful behaviour. Some argued that this clearly meant that the Turkish fans were in support of ISIS and the attacks.
Or perhaps there is something else going on here – commentators on social media are stating that the disruption wasn’t a sign of disrespect to France and the victims of the terror attack, but more a comment on Western hypocrisy.
It seems like Turkish fans were upset that there was no worldwide moment of silence following the Ankara terror attack in October, where 110 people were killed after two bombs were set off outside the central railway station. Although I can understand that point, I don’t think that booing through another moment of silence is going to do anything to help their case.
However, a more likely explanation comes from Mustafa Ã–zsarÄ± — a Masters student at Anadolu University, who stated the following:
Let it be clear: In Turkey (especially at football matches) a one minute silence is always used to chant for those who died in terrorist attacks.
And what they are chanting is this “Åžehitler Ã¶lmez, vatan bÃ¶lÃ¼nmez”. Translation: “Martyrs, they do not die (they are immortal), homeland (land, our land) is indivisible.”
That is a habit from our past with the terrorist organisation PKK. More than 30,000 of our citizens died over the past 30 years by the PKK (including babies, women, children, teachers, officers, doctors, students and soldiers).
In any event, after PKK terrorists kill someone in Turkey, people chant this. Below is a proof from one Turkish Premier League match:
Same slogan “Åžehitler Ã¶lmez, vatan bÃ¶lÃ¼nmez”.
And also, they booed the terrorist, not the victims. Any victims of terrorism are accepted as martyrs in Turkish culture. There is no disrespect to them, there has not been, there will not be.
If you watch the video below it certainly appears to be true, but I can’t really confirm it. I would certainly like it to be true and not think that turkish football fans are ISIS supporters who want to kill the Western World. Let’s hope so – although when a journalist goes to jail for adding an extra K on the end of a tweet by accident, you can never be too sure of a country.