Turkey condemns mistreatment in Greece sports event

ANKARA

Turkey on Tuesday condemned mistreatment of a Turkish sport club during an international handball match in Greece. 

On Friday, the women’s handball team of local Turkish club Muratpasa Belediyespor faced Greece’s PAOK in the first round of EHF European Cup in Veria.

The managers of the Turkish team said Greek authorities did not allow the Turkish flag to be hung at the Filippio Sports Hall, despite the Greek flag hang on in the hall’s wall.

Separately, Greek fans reportedly threw verbal assaults at the Turkish team.

Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu condemned the mistreatment of the Turkish team in Greece.

“The treatment towards the women’s handball team of Muratpasa Belediyespor is not acceptable. Misconducts and attacks on our team are never compatible with the peaceful and friendly spirit of the sport,” Kasapoglu said.

The Turkish official stated that it violates the spirit of the international competition to not allow Turkish flag hang on the sports hall’s wall white the Greek flag was allowed.

He also said the Turkish team was exposed to the heavy harassment and attacks of the rival team fans.

Turkey will launch a legal process against the incident, Kasapoglu added.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the incident in a written statement.

The incident “has once again shown the ugly face of extreme nationalist and fanatic circles against Turkey in Greece”, spokesman Hami Aksoy said.

It is contrary to the decisions previously taken by the two teams to avoid tensions during the match, Aksoy said, adding: “We in no way accept that the hoisting of a Turkish flag was prevented, despite the presence of a Greek flag in the arena.”

Aksoy also called on the Greek authorities to take all necessary measures to ban “xenophobic” and “violent” fans from sports events.
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