22 March 2016
Turkish soccer pitches tell the story of the country’s multiple sharpening fault lines that are exploding into political violence on the streets of Turkey’s major cities as the government fuels deep-seated political and ethnic tensions.
The warning signs were long visible on the pitch: increased militarism, ethnic tensions between Kurds and Turkish nationalists, and expressions of empathy with the Islamic State (IS), the jihadist group that controls chunks of Syria and Iraq and that alongside Kurds is believed to be responsible for some of the recent bombings in Istanbul, Ankara and south-eastern Turkey.
In the latest development, authorities on Sunday cancelled the derby between Istanbul arch rivals Galatasary SK and Fenerbahce SK and evacuated fans from Istanbul’s Turk Telekom Arena amid fears of yet another attack.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 23/03/2016