Istanbul - Ankara, Oct 20 () - Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has deplored football supporters in Konya who refused to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Oct. 10 Ankara Massacre, urging them to offer an apology either to the organizing committee of the peace rally or to the families of the 102 people who lost their lives in the attack.
“It was very awful. It is behavior which didn’t befit the people of Konya who came to that match. This outrageous and disrespectful behavior like whistling instead of commemorating around 100 people with mercy didn’t befit the people of Konya” Bahçeli said on Oct. 18 in Istanbul after holding a rally in the run-up to the Nov. 1 snap elections.
“They were citizens of this country. Their views and ideologies may be different. Enjoying their death just because their ideologies were different does not accord with humanity,” Bahçeli said. “Konya’s people should offer an apology either to the organizing committee or to the families of the 102 people who lost their lives” he said, suggesting that there had been an erosion in national values.
The incident cited by Bahçeli took place on Oct. 13 ahead of a critical Euro 2016 qualifier between Turkey and Iceland when many supporters jeered the moment of silence before shouting right-wing slogans and Allah-u Akbar.
Konyaspor’s main football supporter group, however, said the jeers were against a small group of protesters.
The Turkish national team, along with the Icelandic team, stood in silence for one minute to protest the massacre, which killed at least 102 people, before the Euro 2016 qualification match at the Konya Arena.
The moment of silence was marred by whistles and jeers, which the Nalçacılar, the supporter group of the city’s top-flight team Konyaspor, said were “misunderstood.”