Turkey fans boo minute’s silence for Paris victims, chant ‘Allahu Akbar’
Some Turkish football fans booed and shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) during the minute’s silence for the victims of the Paris attacks before their national team drew 0-0 with Greece in a friendly international soccer game on Tuesday.
The mark of respect was observed at matches across Europe, including at Wembley where France faced England, after Islamic State militants struck Paris on Friday killing 129 people.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras watched the game together, in a sign of reconciliation between the two neighbours, whose relationship has suffered from hostilities in the past.
The fans chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), booed the Greek team and also shouted slogans in favour of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul’s Basaksehir stadium, an AFP photographer said.
Turkish football fans regularly shout nationalist slogans at matches and it was not immediately clear if the behaviour was more aimed against historic rivals Greece than condoning the Paris attacks in any way.
The game ended in a goalless draw.
At a qualifying match for next year’s Euro 2016 football championship in the central Anatolian city of Konya last month, supporters also shouted “Allahu Akbar” during a moment of silence commemorating the 102 victims of twin suicide bombings in the capital Ankara blamed on IS.
However, the occasion was a disappointment with both teams trying out new players in a game of few chances with former European champions Greece, who failed to qualify for the Euros, having just one goal attempt against Turkey’s 12.