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Rival Turkish football hooligans now united in Istanbul protests

(Photo by John Wreford)

Rival Turkish football hooligans now united in Istanbul protests

The National, October 10, 2013.

Outside the Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium in central Istanbul, crowds are gathering. Fenerbahce, one of Turkey’s football giants, are set to line out against Kasimpasa, a lesser-known city team in a Monday night kick-off.

On a side street outside the designated Fenerbahce entrance, members of Fenerbahce’s hardcore supporters’ club are busily talking on mobile phones and discreetly handing match tickets to fans. Tonight, tickets sell for a whopping 100 Turkish lira (Dh183).

And then, with riot police looking on, the unmistakable sound of fist meeting face rings out.

If Turkish football is known for anything, it is for fanaticism, violence and unquestionable loyalty. Its keenest fans are known as ultras. Their rivalry in Istanbul is unparalleled in the world of football. (Read on).

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