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.