Turkish soccer fans disrupted a moment of silence honoring the victims of the Paris attacks before their team drew, 0-0, against Greece in a friendly on Wednesday.
This is at least the second time this year that Turkish fans have whistled and chanted through a moment of silence honoring victims who died in terror attacks. In October, a group of fans disrupted a moment of silence before Turkey beat Iceland, 1-0, in a Euro 2016 qualifier. The moment of silence was held for the victims of the attacks in the country’s capital of Ankara in October.
In both situations, the Turkish team did not join the dissenters, who shouted various nationalist slogans, and instead mostly bowed their heads to observe the moment.
Turkish fans are not alone in their refusal to observe the moment of silence over the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 on Friday, however. A small but vocal minority of fans reported to be Bosnian also disrupted a moment of silence for the victims on Monday when the team lost, 2-0, to Ireland in a Euro 2016 qualifier. Irish fans, who made up the majority of the audience in Dublin, then responded with their own jeers directed at the shouting fans.
Again, both teams stood in silence to observe the moment.
At least one soccer personality is speaking out about his misgivings on the moments of silence, however, which may shed light on why some fans have also reacted with what many see as disrespect by interrupting the silent observations.
On Tuesday, after Syria beat Singapore 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier, Syria’s Coach Fajr Ibrahim questioned why the victims of the Paris attacks being claimed by ISIS are receiving recognition while other victims of terror — and specifically those killed in Syria — have not.
“We stand now 30 seconds for French, but all Syrian people killed, no one stand one second, you have to know this,” Ibrahim told reporters (via Agence France-Presse). “We fight all terrorists. We fight all terrorist groups, Syria fight all terrorist groups… we kill all terrorists around the world.”
Ibrahim, a supporter of Syria’s current controversial leadership, went on to dedicate the win to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.