Kurdish Soccer Teams Assaulted Several Times by Muslims in Turkey

Players and managers of the Cizrespor football club from the Kurdish Cizre district of Sirnak province in southeastern Turkey were subjected to racist insults before they were physically attacked by police and officials of their opponent, Bayburt Grup Ozel Idare Genclikspor (Bayburt GOI), on January 22.

The vice president of Cizrespor, Maruf Sevinc, said:

At first, the personnel of the opposing team attacked us with racist words and insults. Even though we lost 2-1, four executives of the team started a quarrel with our players in the corridor of the stadium and beat them up.

When the tension escalated, police intervened -- on behalf of the instigators:

Police attacked us even more harshly with their batons, kicking and punching our footballers and coach.

Cizrespor, the victim of the racist attacks, was given a fine of 31,000 Turkish liras by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

Upon the declaration of this punishment by the TFF, Sevinc announced that Cizrespor will withdraw from the Turkish football league and that it will join Dalkurd FF, a Swedish football club formed by Kurdish immigrants in Sweden.

Another Kurdish team was targeted by Turkish nationalists on the same day.

A bus carrying members of the Amedspor, from the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, was attacked by Turkish fans of Konya Anadolu Selcukluspor following Amedspor’s 3-0 victory.

The team bus was attacked before it left Konya, a central Anatolian province, a stronghold of Turkish nationalist conservatives. Some windows of the bus were shattered. Amedspor was also reported to have been subjected to intimidating slogans during the encounter.

Racist violence at Turkish football matches against teams from predominantly Kurdish cities is an increasingly serious problem.

On April 25 of last year in Ankara, the Turkish football team Ankaragucu, from Ankara, lost to Amedspor. Next, the Turkish team attempted to lynch the officials of the Kurdish team. See a video of the attack here.

Around fifty supporters of the Ankaragucu team in the grandstand began beating seven Amedspor officials, including one woman, with wooden canes and iron rods. See photos of the team officials after the attack here.

Turkish fans subjected the Kurdish team to obscenities and insults throughout the match. When the Kurdish team won, its officials were threatened with lynching, physically assaulted, and some had to be hospitalized. One football player suffered brain trauma and three had their noses smashed.

“Seven or eight people attacked me that day,” Soran Haldi Mizrak, the Kurdish team's spokesperson and lawyer, said:

They started by beating me, and then they threw me from a height of about three meters (10 feet). The footage shows only a small part of what happened there. After I fell, they continued kicking me -- officials of the Ankaragucu team, the security guard of their president, and two police officers. They had their accreditation cards around their necks. They tried to murder us. Even the president of the Ankaragucu club attempted to hit us.