Germany – German police stop Turkish fans marching in Berlin for using the Grey Wolves gesture – Spain

Germany – German police stop Turkish fans marching in Berlin for using the Grey Wolves gesture – Spain
Germany – German police stop Turkish fans marching in Berlin for using the Grey Wolves gesture – Spain

Berlin police have stopped some 5,000 fans of the Turkish football team from marching towards the Olympic Stadium in the German capital on Saturday after detecting the use of the gesture of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish far-right organisation. The Turkish team faces the Netherlands tonight in the quarter-finals of the European Football Championship.

Thousands of Turkish fans set off from Breitscheidplatz towards Charlottenburg station, but when the far-right symbol was spotted, police intervened to remind fans that the gesture was not allowed.

The Grey Wolves salute is performed with both hands raised and the index and little fingers extended to resemble the animal’s ears. The gesture itself is not banned in Germany, but it is an inappropriate political expression for a sporting event, police spokeswoman Beate Ostertag told Berlin television RBB.

The gesture has had some significance because Turkish footballer Merih Demiral made the gesture in the previous qualifying round, in a match against Austria, after scoring a second goal. UEFA has banned him for two matches.

German international Mehsut Ozil of Turkish origin has backed Demiral by posting a message of encouragement on his Instagram account with an image of Demirel’s two hands making the gesture.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has travelled to Germany to watch the match against the Netherlands and has expressed his support for Demiral.

Some 3,000 officers have been deployed to ensure security before, during and after the match. The Berlin police have been supported by officers from Brandenburg, Bavaria, Hesse, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, as well as the Federal Police.

The fan zones planned at the Brandenburg Gate and in front of the Reichstag have been closed due to the risk of storms.

 
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