Issue of Turkish Supporters Making Nationalistic Gestures

The actions of Turkish supporters making nationalistic hand gestures have sparked controversy ahead of the European Championship quarterfinal match against the Netherlands. This gesture, associated with Turkish nationalists, has raised concerns and led to disciplinary actions against a Turkish player.

Berlin police intervened as Turkish supporters were making their way to the match, asking them to stop the nationalistic hand gestures. The police highlighted that such gestures could turn a football march into a political demonstration, which is not permitted. While the gesture itself is not banned in Germany, the police made some arrests due to the situation.

Following the incident where Turkey defender Merih Demiral made the gesture after scoring in a previous match, UEFA imposed a ban on him for two games. This ban has stirred up a diplomatic row between Turkey and Germany, the host nation of Euro 2024. The Turkish Football Federation and government officials have criticized the suspension, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showing his support for Demiral.

Turkish President’s Involvement

President Erdogan changed his plans to visit Azerbaijan in order to attend the quarterfinal match, emphasizing his solidarity with the Turkish team and their defender. He justified Demiral’s actions as an expression of excitement, rather than a political statement. However, the call for other supporters to make the same gesture during the national anthem has created further tension.

The controversy surrounding the nationalistic gestures made by Turkish supporters highlights the complex intersection of sports, politics, and national identity. While such gestures may hold different meanings for different individuals, their display in international sporting events can have far-reaching implications. It remains to be seen how this issue will be resolved and its impact on future matches and relations between countries.


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