Sunday, May 20, 2007

Police checks at the footy

Most of you have probably now seen TV footage from Saturday night's Galatasaray-Fenerbahce match. They weren't very nice. The match had to be delayed for ages to clear the field of various objects. Flares were lit and thrown onto the field. Have a look at someone's mobile phone video from the match to get an idea.

How the hell did this happen? I'm not going to go into a sociological study of Galatasaray fans but instead concentrate on the basics of policing football. Or why on earth are the Istanbul police so careless while the Ankara police are overzealous.

I've never seen any violence at a Genclerbirligi match. Things are never thrown at the field or opposition supporters. But yet the police here certainly take their job seriously. Quite a few of us, if not all of us, have had pens, coins and lighters taken off us. It took me all of my persuasive skills for the police to allow me to take a camera into a match. The cops wanted to take out the batteries. I don't try any more and have to rely on Spine's mobile phone for the pictures.

All this for a club that has no history of violence.

Then we have one of the most spiteful derbies anywhere in the world, Galatasaray v Fenerbahce, and the police somehow fail to intercept hundreds of flares.

It wasn't as if yesterday's violence in the stands wasn't predicted. Just take a look at Mehmet Ali Birand's prediction in Saturday's TDN.

At 6:45 p.m., the Fenerbahçe (FB) Soccer Team will take its place on Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Galatasaray (GS) Soccer Team's home field. At once, all hell will break loose.

Various objects, from water bottles to lighters, even clubs will be thrown to the field from the stands. The spectators will unite in insulting the players. The FB team will not be able to tell what hit them.

The point of my rant? The police don't have a clue and treat us small club supporters as potential criminals and then leave to their own devices the fans of Istanbul clubs that have proven to be violent. Hopeless, just hopeless.


  1. FenerFan3:58 am

    Hello to all Kankas. I am a Fenerbahce fan that lives in US, and i have had a chance to see yuor blog today. To be honest with you, i dont like any of the Ankara teams, but i have great respect for all of you guys for supporting the team of your city, and i must say that i am impressed. You guys will have a third team to support next year, thanks to Genclerbirligi OFTAS.

  2. Your mathematics is excellent Fenerfan. We don't recognise `the other` team from Ankara, commonly referred to as Filthspor or Melih Gokcek Spor !

    Thanks for your kind words about our loyalty to ANKARAGUCU and Genclerbirligi. We have both had an up-and-down season (mostly down !!) but we will be raring to go again in July for the Sportswriters Cup.

    Congratulations to Fener on winning the league. No doubt they were the best team in the league. Just hope they will ease off the gas next weekend ??!!

  3. I recorded this video, and I think I have a right to answer your comments. Nobody knows what the hell happened in Ali Sami Yen Stadium on 19th of May except of the ones who were watching the game in tribune. The main activator of the violence was the police. They have used their billy and pepper gas on the fans alhough there were no reasons. Fans were shown their reaction rightly, and they have gotten angry of police. If somebody hits you without any reason, you can not just watch him to beat you like an animal. If you have a chance to find videos about fights between fans and police in Kapalı tribune just before the game starts, you will have more ideas about what happened to Galatasaray fans! Fans were already angry while they were going to stadium, but these police attacks made the situation worse and more violent! I do not have any idea about Ankara police, but from now on, unfortunately I have some bad prejudgements about İstanbul police! I did not do any violent attack, I did not throw any object into the field, I just cheered for Galatasaray with all other fans, but I do not blame the ones who were beaten by police and did some violent things after these police attacks. Please, make sufficient researches before publishing some of your ideas about this game, and try to make objective comments.

  4. Kursat, Thanks for posting your comments. First of all I'd like to say that it was clear from your video that you and your friends weren't involved. You guys were singing away and enjoying the game.

    I didn't actually comment on the violence between the police and the fans as such. I commented in particular on the fact that the police failed to stop all the flares from getting in.

    We all know that flares are illegal at matches and the police failed to stop them from getting in. My point was that we all know that many Galatasaray try to get flares into the match and therefore why don't the police do their job and stop them.

    As for the attacks by the police on the fans, as I said I didn't comment, but at times here the police in Ankara have also gone way over the top. For eg: the recent Ankaragucu-Besiktas match.

    So don't worry Kurşat, try reading the piece again and you will see that my complaint was about the police and not you guys

  5. Actually, I understood what you try to explain. However, I do not want people thinks Galatasaray fans are barbarians and they always behaves like that. Also I appreciate your concern about football hooliganism and lack of police organizations to stop the violence in stadiums. Thank you for noticing.

  6. Fenerfan10:30 pm

    Eski Kanka Jim,

    Of course, my math is excellent. Im taking calculus in high school. :)

    I think u guys will have an easy victory this weekend, and I wouldnt mind if Fenerbahce loses. Fenerbahce players likely will not play hard.

  7. It seemed like Lucifer was inside the Ali Sami Yen stadium selling flares and if Ersu was sponsor to extinguish this fire or something.

    One thing is for sure they have to hurry up to finish the new stadium before the new season, because this one is demolished..