30 August 2015
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF), in a demonstration of the inseparable ties between sports and politics, has effectively declared its support for renewed Turkish-Kurdish hostilities designed to enhance the prospects of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party in forthcoming snap elections.
With armed Kurdish youth effectively taking control of at least one predominantly Kurdish city in south-eastern Turkey, Turkish war planes pounding Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) positions in the region as well as in northern Iraq, and the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the PKK affiliate in Syria; Turkish authorities arresting some 1,000 alleged PKK supporters; and PKK attacks on Turkish security forces, the TFF is preparing to penalise a third league club for releasing white peace doves at the beginning of a competition match.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed in June to win the majority it needed to again form a one party government and push through parliament constitutional changes that would turn Erdogan’s largely ceremonial presidency into an executive one. Erdogan has called snap parliamentary elections for 1 November, after the AKP failed to form a coalition government.
… James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 31/08/2015