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Is this why Turkey fans booed during silence for Paris attack victims?

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Turkish fans were subjected to torrents of criticism after appearing to disrespect the 129 victims who were killed in attacks in Paris on Friday by booing during a minute's silence before their match against Greece.

Stadiums across Europe fell silent before the latest round of international matches on Tuesday in memory of the people killed during a series of attacks by Islamic State militants, including at Wembley Stadium, where England were playing France.

There was no such silence at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium with a number of media outlets suggesting it was a clear mark of disrespect. The Daily Mail even reported that chants of 'Allahu Akbar' could be heard, suggesting support for the terrorist organisation.


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Turkish manager Fatih Terim announced his disappointment of the fans following the game, which finished 0-0, explaining that they should have been more respectful.

He told reporters: "Our fans should have behaved during the national anthems and during the one minute silence. Greece is our neighbour. Today is world neighbours day, but our fans didn't behave like neighbours in this match."

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But fans present at the game have hit back at reports that they were in support of the attacks, with those entwined with the culture insisting the booing was their way of denouncing the actions of ISIS.

The incident

No disrespect

Mustafa Ozsarı – a Masters student at Anadolu University – told 101GreatGoals: "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.

"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 'Şehitler ölmez, vatan bölünmez'. Translation: 'Martyrs, they do not die (they are immortal), homeland (land, our land) is indivisible'."

More reaction

As reported by the Independent, more Turkish people have offered similar explanations:

Abs Pangader: Actually, they're chanting "Sehitler olmez, vatan bolunmez." Which means "Martyrs never die, the nation won't be divided." This is a common slogan thrown in remembrance of Turkish soldiers who fell victim to terrorism. In Turkey, there is rarely a minute of silence that isn't interrupted by this chant. Whether its a minute of silence for a Turkish catastrophe or something else that happened globally, this always happens.

Mert Kılıçsoy: It was the response of injustice, they didnt boo minute's silence for Paris attack victims. The millions of people dying in Turkey because of terrorist attacks: where were you when more than 100 people killed in Ankara?

Motaz Amjad: It's because of double standards, few weeks ago there was an attack in Ankara and more than hundred where dead In a " peace protest" yet nobody cared or gave minute silence for them. So they decided not to give something they didn't get, although you don't fix a mistake with another one but that's how it went. Mistakes happen.

Food for thought

Needless to say, it is a controversial subject, but it appears Turkish football fans are in no way supporting the atrocities committed in Paris but are in fact making their discontent clear to Western media, who have been accused of ignoring tragic events in the Middle East in recent times.

One-hundred-and-two people were killed and more than 400 injured after two bombs were detonated outside Ankara's central railway station last month. It was the deadliest attack in Turkey's modern history yet the victims were not honoured in an equal fashion.

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