Turkish football doesn’t wield the greatest reputation when it comes to crowd control.
Given the country is already in a troublesome state of transition, tensions have spilt onto affairs regarding the ‘beautiful game’. In fact, the latest incident has come just days after a ban on away supporters was finally lifted.
The most recent skirmish rooted from yesterday’s season-opening clash between Galatasaray and Besiktas. Even before a ball was kicked however, four supporters were left hospitalized in a vicious fan attack.
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The Super Lig is predominantly a three horse race between Besiktas, Fenerbache and Galatasaray. Consequently, the rivalries between the triumvirate are often fiery to say the least.
It’s not been unheard of for firearms and serious injuries to be involved in clashes between opposing fans of the dominant trio. Galatasaray’s famous ‘Welcome to Hell’ banners of the 1990s say it all.
Coupled with the oppressive political landscape of the nation that recently prompted an attempted coup, the situation in Turkey is far from ideal. Football hasn’t been void of trouble though, far from it.
Despite a ban on away fans only being lifted this week, the very first game of the Turkish football season was marred by a despicable act of violence.
A group of Galatasaray supporters waited alongside a major road outside of Konya before launching stones at the window of a Besiktas supporter’s bus.
The state of the bus afterwards documents gross damage and the sheer extent of the violence can be seen in the images and video below:
With a Galatasaray fan even pictured with a large knife and four bus passengers having required hospital treatment, it proved a grisly episode.
Unfortunately for a nation now attracting an array of European players such as Samuel Eto’o and Robin van Persie, the carcass of a supporter’s bus isn’t a original sight.
A vicious cycle is immerging in Turkish football and supporters are taking the brunt of the unrest. It must be hoped that such incidents cease and the true fans can enjoy games without putting their health at risk.
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