Rival football fans unite in Turkey protest

04 June 2013 07:16

At the best of times they hate each other, but fans of Istanbul's rival football teams found a common cause on Tuesday when they joined together in the latest night of protests targeting the Turkish government.

A crowd of thousands, mostly Besiktas fans in their black and white-striped strips, marched from the club's Inonu stadium, some of them arm in arm with protestors wearing the yellow and blue stripes of Fenerbahce.

"We are fighting together, not only Besiktas: Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Bursaspor, Karsikaya. It's Turkey that's fighting, not only Besiktas," yelled one fan of the team, who gave her name as Gokben, 35.

"It is too amazing. There are different team supporters together, for Turkey," said another, Levent Kara, a 24-year-old student.

A photograph published by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet on Monday showed Fenerbahce fans arm in arm with a supporter of their derby rivals Galatasaray, who beat Fenerbahce to the league title this season. Besiktas finished third.

Protestors were flooding the streets for a fifth night of protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom they accuse of pushing conservative Islamic reforms.

Clashes over recent days have left two men dead.

Source: AFP