In yet another example of the Turkish government’s desire to limit freedom of expression, Interior Minister has stated that the government plans to impose a ban on political slogans at football (soccer) matches. Given the traditions of Turkish football, it remains to be seen just how such a ban would be enforced. The ban comes after a long summer of political protests. Over the course of the protests, football fan clubs played a significant role in organization and mobilization.
“We are adding bad political and ideological slogans to the list of illegal demonstrations in football stands, or behavior not complying with sporting ethics, says Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler.
Indeed, it is becoming difficult to find any forum in Turkey where political dissent is not subject to government sanction.
Howard Eissenstat, St. Lawrence University