Turks Boo, Chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ During Moment of Silence for Paris Attacks

By Danielle Saroyan

Armenian Agenda Associate Editor

According to
a Reuters report, last night in
Instanbul Turkish fans booed during the minute of silence for the 129 victims
of the Paris attacks prior to kick-off of a friendly match against Greece. In
addition, Turkey fans chanted the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God
is greater,” seen in the video above.

A minute of
silence was observed at matches across Europe, including at Wembley where
France faced England, and NFL football games in the United States after Islamic
State militants attacked Paris on Friday, November 13.

Turkey team
manager Fatih Terim shared his opinion about Turkish fans’ actions before the
game. “Our fans should have behaved during the national anthems and during the
one minute silence,” Terim said according to a Daily Mail article. “Greece is our neighbor. Today is world
neighbors day, but our fans didn’t behave like neighbors in this match.”

Turkey and
Greece have been geopolitical rivals for centuries, but attempted in recent
years to reconcile their differences, a move that’s been given heightened
importance during the growing migrant crisis.

Turkish
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras watched this
game together, in a sign of reconciliation between the two neighbors, before
their planned talks on reducing the flow of migrants crossing from Turkey into
Greece.

image

“Their
soccer teams hadn’t played each other in eight years, so Tuesday’s friendly
match in Istanbul presented an opportunity for a power symbolic display of
peace and reconciliation,” CBS News
reports.

As Buzzfeed News points out, this is not the
first time Turks have jeered during a moment of silence. In October, Turkish
fans also booed during a minute of silence after a Kurdish peace rally in
Ankara was bombed, which claimed 103 lives.

Apart from
the incident, the friendly game was reported to be uneventful, with both teams
playing out a 0-0 tie.

Photo
Caption 1 (L-R): Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkey’s Prime
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Lefteris Pitarakis /AP)

About Armenian Assembly of America

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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