The criticism had evidently become too loud for those in government, and now the politicians' reaction, which many had expected, followed. After the government-critical chants of its fans, the Turkish top club Fenerbahce Istanbul will have to do without their supporters in the next away game. A security agency in Kayseri province, where Fenerbahce will face local club Kayserispor on Saturday, said the away game would be played "without the club's fans".
A connection with the chants was not made in the message. However, Fenerbahce condemned the measure as "unacceptable" and described it as "an awkward decision that does not meet any sporting criteria".
In the wake of the devastating earthquake, fans of the second in the table had recently called out "government, resign". "20 years of lies and fraud, resign," it said. The criticism includes the accusation that the reaction to the severe earthquakes in early February was far too slow and inadequate. More than 50,000 people died in the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria.
Besiktas fans also recently chanted for the Turkish government to step down, remembering above all the children among the victims of the catastrophe.
During Sunday's game against Antalyaspor, they threw hundreds of stuffed animals onto the field after four minutes and 17 seconds. The background: the quake, almost three weeks ago, took place at 4:17 a.m. The names of all provinces affected by the quake were also displayed on the display panel.
Devlet Bahceli, leader of the ruling MHP party, the nationalist affiliate of Erdogan's AKP party, said he "strongly condemns the use of sport for dirty politics" at a time when the wounds of the earthquake have yet to heal. Fenerbahce, on the other hand, is now asking the security authorities to reverse the decision. "It means nothing other than punishing the club and preventing our fans from supporting their team," it said.
The German government has promised to help those affected by the devastating earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border area with reconstruction. "Our sympathy is not limited to words," promised Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a visit to Turkey with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.