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Turkish football fans in anti-government chants in quake anger

Turkish football fans in anti-government chants in quake anger

February 26, 2023 (AFP)

Besiktas fans called on the Turkish government to resign in terrace chants Sunday, throwing hundreds of soft toys onto the pitch in memory of child victims of the February 6 the earthquake.

The protest, which took place during the match, follows that of fans from fellow Istanbul club Fenerbahçe at their stadium on Saturday.

"Government, resign!" was the chant as Besiktas played out a 0-0 draw with Antalyaspor.

Fenerbahce fans voiced similar sentiments following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that claimed over 44,000 victims in Turkey.

"Twenty years of lies and cheating, resign," Fenerbahce fans chanted during their 4-0 win over Konyaspor.

Opponents of the Turkish government have criticised what they feel is an inadequate response from the ruling authorities to the natural disaster

Presidential and parliamentary elections are due to take place on May 14.

Besiktas supporters are reputed to be closer to the opposition than to Recep Tayyip Edogan's ruling coalition.

But chants of this kind became rarer after Erdogan cracked down in the wake of the failed coup against him in 2016.

Devlet Bahceli, head of the nationalist MHP party, the junior partner in Erdogan's governing coalition, called for authorities to have matches played behind closed doors if there were more such chants.

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