Kicking Politics out of the Pitch

The union of rival football supporters in Turkey during the Gezi demonstrations was one of the movement’s many mould-breaking legacies. It was inspiring for many to see football supporters whom up to that point had been stereotyped in the media as apolitical and fanatical hooligans to organise and unite under a socially conscientious cause. The Beşiktaş football club supporters’ group ÇARŞI was one of the protagonists of this development, whose members were arrested for allegedly inciting public disorder during the protests, and five of whom are still being investigated in court under various charges.

Several news articles released in the Turkish media follow the continuing crackdown on this positive development of football supporters by the AKP government.

The LeftPortal shared news obtained by The Doğan Media Group today under the title:

“AKP Exposes Football Supporters: An Undercover Civilian Police for Each Football Team”

The article continues, “With the beginning of the new football season AKP will take various measures to gather information about football supporters through the assistance of the Turkish Football Federation which will then be shared with the Interior and Finance Ministry.”

“Measures which include electronic ticket purchasing, CCTV surveillance, facial screening technology and undercover civilian police officers, who will be present in all matches, will gather information under a disclosure operation that will commence in the new season. “*

In other news it was reported that the AKP has banned political banners from matches.

In today’s Super League Beşiktaş –Trabzonspor match the officials have been carrying out checks on political banners in the entrance to the stadium. **



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