Turkish supporters attending an international football friendly against Greece on Nov. 17 refused to participate in a minute of silence following the recent jihadist attacks on France, choosing instead to boo the commemoration.
A section of the crowd at Fatih Terim Stadium in Istanbul’s Başakşehir district had first whistled during the playing of the Greek national anthem, prompting Turkish star Arda Turan to remonstrate with the crowd. Arda’s intervention, however, failed to stop the booing.
During the subsequent moment of silence, supporters also whistled their disapproval while a section of the crowed also reportedly shouted “Allah-u Akbar” and “Martyrs don’t die, the homeland will not be divided” – a common nationalist slogan.
“We’re staging a moment of silence for people that have died. Can’t we be patient for one minute? When we go abroad, we’re not able to explain this,” Turkish national team coach Fatih Terim said after the match. “It doesn’t reflect well on us at all.”
The match ended in a 0-0 draw.
The behavior in Başakşehir was in stark contrast to the scenes at London’s Wembley Stadium, where English and French fans both sang the Marseillaise before the match before studiously observing the minute of silence.
The booing ahead of the Greece game produced a reaction both at home and abroad.
One month ago, Turkish supporters in the Central Anatolian province of Konya also booed a minute of silence for the victims of the Oct. 10 Ankara Massacre, in which 100 peace activists were killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).