While Turkey awaits the extraordinary party congress where Ahmet Davutoğlu will be named the new chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and thus eventually become the prime minister when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan takes over as president and a brand new cabinet is announced, Turks were busy involved in their favorite pastime - football.
The nation was glued to their TV sets to watch the two leading teams of Turkish football battle it out for the Super Cup of Turkey, which pits the champions of the league trophy with the winners of the Turkish Federation Cup. Of course, the two teams were Istanbul's Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, who are not only ancient archrivals but outright enemies.
Turks are football crazy and when you say sports, football is the only sports activity that comes to mind. Newspapers have to earmark several pages to football - much more than they do to social subjects.
Unfortunately, in recent years, football has produced bad blood and enmity between Turkey's two leading football clubs so much so that it has created serious divisions in Turkish society and it is sad that club authorities are doing very little to change all this.
The Super Cup final on Monday night was mediocre by all standards as the two teams showed clearly that they are not ready for the new football season. They played a goalless draw and the winner could only be determined on penalty shots that ended with Fenerbahçe winning 3-2.
Even the mediocre football displayed by these teams that have spent millions of dollars in transfers and are a reflection of the state of Turkish football in general, was not such a source of deep concern as the sorrowful scenes we had to endure off the football pitch with the terrible attitudes displayed by their fans. The fans threw all kinds of objects at the players throughout the game, insulted the players and did everything to bring the game into disrepute, And these were the "fans" of Turkey's two leading teams. The enmity displayed was a serious alarm call.
The tough laws that were passed in the Turkish Parliament against football hooliganism do not seem to have made any impact on the rowdy fans. The fans are openly out to get the players of the rival team, and if they had the chance, would openly lynch them then and there.
The enmity between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray is being fueled by the negative attitude of their administrators and some of the players. It is extremely dangerous and will lead to very serious incidents that could even make a civil war seem like child's play.
Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel said the "dogs" should be dealt with by the municipality that poisons them, because if they fail to do this, he will take matters into his own hands and deal with Galatasaray fans himself. If this is how football players react instead of trying to subdue their fans, we are in for some very tough times ahead. We have managed to forge rapprochement from many sectors of our society, we have set the course of the Turkish-Kurdish reconciliation process, and yet football seems to be emerging as a greater menace than all.
The Davutoğlu government should put serious emphasis on this growing menace. Turkish teams are closely watched around the world, they compete in important European and international events. Turkey has to put its football house in order not only for the sake of internal peace, but also to prevent serious embarrassment abroad.
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