Turkey vs. Greece

Boos from Turkish fans disrupted a moment of silence held in memory of the Paris attacks before a soccer match against Greece. Video from the pre-match ceremony clearly conveys the disrespectful behavior.

After the game, Turkey manager Fatih Terim criticized his fans for the gesture, which tainted what was designed as an act of solidarity and support.

"Our fans should have behaved during the national anthems and during the one minute silence," Terim told reporters after the match. "Greece is our neighbor. Today is world neighbors day, but our fans didn't behave like neighbors in this match."


Some of the negative sentiment from Turkish fans seems to be directed at Greece itself. The two countries share a border and have been divided about the flow of Syrian refugees crossing from Turkey into Greece -- and that's just the latest in a series of conflicts between them over the years.

On top of that, the two countries were playing a soccer match for the first time in eight years, providing a perfect opportunity for fans to amplify their political voice.

During the intended moment of silence, fans could be heard chanting "Allahu Akbar," an Islamic phrase meaning "God is greater." Chants and boos continued into the second minute of the match.


According to 101 Great Goals, however, the boos and chants may have been misinterpreted as negative toward the Paris attacks, when some within Turkey argue that they were an attempt to condemn the attacks and the terrorists actions against innocent people.

101 Great Goals cites Turkish student Mustafa Özsarı in attempting to give the moment context:

"Let it be clear: In Turkey (especially at football matches) a one minute silence is always used to chant for those who died in terrorist attacks.

"And what they are chanting is this 'Şehitler ölmez, vatan bölünmez.' Translation: 'Martyrs, they do not die (they are immortal), homeland (land, our land) is indivisible.'"

Özsarı adds this: "They booed the terrorist, not the victims. Any victims of terrorism are accepted as martyrs in Turkish culture. There is no disrespect to them, there has not been, there will not be."

Another view of the controversy:

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