Fenerbahçe deems move to ban its fans from match ‘disgraceful against Turkish football’  

Fenerbahçe football club has released a new statement over the decision to ban its fans from a March 4 match against Kayserispor. The Istanbul club said on March 1 that the decision is “not a disgrace done to Fenerbahçe, but to Turkish football.”  

Fenerbahçe footballers hold a banner expressing their condolences due to the earthquakes during the Konyaspor match on Feb 25.

Duvar English

After the Kayseri Provincial Security Board’s decision to ban Fenerbahçe football fans from a March 4 match against Kayserispor, the Istanbul club has released a new statement with the title of “This decision is not a disgrace done to Fenerbahçe, but Turkish football.”

Fenerbahçe said that the ban decision was “unilateral,” “unjust,” irrational,” and “against the equality principle of sports, against sports’ unifying soul.”

“The steps taken in the path to the adoption of this decision is not just a damage done to our Club but to Turkish football,” the club said in its statement. “Give up on your unsensible decisions and moves that continuously marginalize and make Fenerbahçe a target.”

The Kayseri Provincial Security Council on Feb. 28 ruled that Fenerbahçe fans will not be allowed to attend the Super Lig away match against Kayserispor planned for March 4.

The decision came after Fenerbahçe fans protested against the government and called for its resignation during a home match against Konyaspor on Feb. 25.  

A similar call came from Beşiktaş fans in a Feb. 26 match, again with thousands of fans calling on the government to resign.

After these calls, President Erdoğan’s ally and far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli targeted the fans. Bahçeli described the protests as "irresponsible and unconscious" and demanded action from club administrations. He argued that “football clubs have been tricked and trapped" and also announced his resignation from his membership in Beşiktaş club.

Afterwards, Kayserispor released a statement, saying that it “stands by the state and nation to the end.” The club referred to Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş fans’ slogans as “dirty politics” and “zillet” (contempt in Turkish), which is a word frequently used by Erdoğan and Bahçeli for targeting the main opposition alliance “Millet İttifakı” (the Nation’s Alliance).

Kayserispor did not stop here and filed an application with the Kayseri Provincial Security Council to ban Fenerbahçe fans from attending the Super Lig match against itself planned for March 4. In return, the Kayseri Provincial Security Council approved the application and said in a ruling on Feb. 28 that only home team’s fans will be allowed.

Shortly afterwards, Fenerbahçe slammed the move and take it to the judiciary. 

"We have learned with surprise that our supporters will not be taken, in accordance with the Kayseri Provincial Security Council. As Fenerbahçe Sports Club, it is in no way possible for us to accept this decision. It is a strange decision that has nothing to do with the sportive criteria," the club said in a statement on Feb. 28.