Sunday, October 25, 2015

Peace will win

A statement issued by the Genclerbirligi Alkaralar fan group on Sunday, October 25.

We are not well (we have been hurting) since the attack at 10:04 am on 10 October 2015 against the people who came to the Ankara "Peace will win" rally. Like all of those who haven't lost their humanity, we will not be well (we will continue to hurt). There are many reasons not to be well (to be hurt). One of them is that it is considered a "petty offence" to express a want for peace and to condemn terror.

The banners that we unfolded, banners which had no content that the police actually objected to, were taken from our hands. They were ripped apart and taken from the stands. For the rest of match the police had their eyes on us in a harassing way. At the end of the match, as if there had been a major crime committed, tens of riot police (made a formation which forced the spectators) to leave one at a time. Then at the end, our three friends were taken into custody.  

The officials must have realised that what they had done had no basis. Therefore they didn't know what to accuse our friends with. (With this sort of thinking) those voices coming form the stands who wanted peace should have been harassed and silenced. Therefore, they wanted to prosecute (our friends) under Law 6222 "Law To Prevent Violence and Disorder in Sport". However, it was soon understood that there were no grounds in the law under which such an action could be described as such. So they remembered another law which can be used open ended (an all encompassing law) - the Petty Offences Law. As a last resort our friends each received a fine of 208 tl.

Many officials highlighted the point that the main problem was to open a banner in the stands without permission, as opposed to the actual content of the banners. However, as Alkaralar we believe that the banners brought (into the stadium) without permission deserve the same tolerance, if not more, than the "Watch Matches on Lig TV" banners which are also brought into the stands without permission.

Our aim is not to cause a sensation. It is to do our final duty to those beautiful people who lost their lives in Ankara, to pay our respects, and to express our wish for peace. In order to prevent this incident to be individualised and to think of the personal security of our three young friends we have chosen to make a written statement. We have not lost hope... and we will not lose it. We will keep shouting out in spite of the harassment we received yesterday and in spite of the Passolig system. Peace will win.  

The original statement in Turkish can be found here

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