Diyarbakirspor may withdraw from the Turkish league

Turkcell Super League logoA report from the English-language Hurriyet Daily News cites that Diyarbakirspor is considering withdrawing from the Turkish league. This decision may come to pass if the club continues to receive verbal and physical abuse. Diyarbakırspor chairman Çetin Sümer discussed this with the chairman of the TFF, Mahmut Özgener, and Sümer said Monday that his team had been insulted by political slogans during the games. This would come to a head in Bursa, where Bursaspor fans would throw the stadium’s plastic seats and hurl verbal insults to Diyarbakirspor supporters. For ultra-nationalists in the country, Diyarbakirspor is considered representing the Kurds, and by extension the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey. Should Bursaspor not be punished, Sümer said, he will withdraw Diyarbakirspor from the league. He went on to say that Diyarbakirspor does not represent an extension of any political ideology or party.

The incidents happened during the Bursapor – Diyarbakirspor match this past Saturday. The Bursaspor supporter group Teksas, known for their ultra-nationalist stance, unfurled huge Turkish flags and banners trying to insult the Diyarbakirspor faithful. The incidents did not stop there however. During the 26th minute of the match, the previously mentioned stadium plastic seats were thrown at the Diyarbakirspor fans. Some Bursaspor supporters even tried to jump the catch fence separating the supporters. The brawl was halted after police officers were placed between the supporters. Ten Diyarbakirspor supporters, including one woman, were injured during the melee, leading to the arrests of five people. Bursaspor chairman İbrahim Yazıcı apologized to Sümer, but Sümer was understandably bitter after the game.