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In Turkey, Rival Soccer Fans Unite, Join Antigovernment Protests

For anyone who has followed the cutthroat world of Turkish football fandom, the sight of supporters from the country's three most popular soccer clubs teaming up against a common enemy is a jarring one. But that's exactly what's been happening as protests continue against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A fan relaxes in a burned-out minibus. Beer is a hot commodity in the square, where many protesters are angry that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to restrict alcohol sales. A popular chant involves a satirical toast to the prime minister.
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A fan relaxes in a burned-out minibus. Beer is a hot commodity in the square, where many protesters are angry that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to restrict alcohol sales. A popular chant involves a satirical toast to the prime minister.

Massive crowds turned out on Taksim Square for the ninth night in a row on June 8.
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Massive crowds turned out on Taksim Square for the ninth night in a row on June 8.

The banner of Carsi, a Besiktas support group. The group, which replaces the letter "A" with an anarchist symbol, espouses left-wing political thought.
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The banner of Carsi, a Besiktas support group. The group, which replaces the letter "A" with an anarchist symbol, espouses left-wing political thought.

Fans of Turkey’s soccer teams stand together and chant slogans against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Besiktas, near Taksim Square, wears black and white; Fenerbahce, on Istanbul’s Asian side, dresses in yellow and black; and Galatasaray, Turkey’s most successful team, sports shades of red and yellow.
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Fans of Turkey’s soccer teams stand together and chant slogans against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Besiktas, near Taksim Square, wears black and white; Fenerbahce, on Istanbul’s Asian side, dresses in yellow and black; and Galatasaray, Turkey’s most successful team, sports shades of red and yellow.

Namik Kemal Bora Gonulluleroglu wears the colors of the Galatasaray soccer team. "I have never seen this kind of thing," he says. "All the teams being united because of one main idea. We are losing our rights and there is no chance to even say this loudly."
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Namik Kemal Bora Gonulluleroglu wears the colors of the Galatasaray soccer team. "I have never seen this kind of thing," he says. "All the teams being united because of one main idea. We are losing our rights and there is no chance to even say this loudly."

A Fenerbahce fan late at night on a sidestreet off of Taksim Square
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A Fenerbahce fan late at night on a sidestreet off of Taksim Square

A group of Fenerbahce fans, all drinking Efes beer, mixes football songs with slogans against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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A group of Fenerbahce fans, all drinking Efes beer, mixes football songs with slogans against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Scarves of Turkey’s football teams surround a flag with the image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
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Scarves of Turkey’s football teams surround a flag with the image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

The colors of Turkey’s major soccer teams, which decided to put aside differences last week and join with protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Fenerbahce is represented by yellow, Galatasaray by red, and Besiktas by black.
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The colors of Turkey’s major soccer teams, which decided to put aside differences last week and join with protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Fenerbahce is represented by yellow, Galatasaray by red, and Besiktas by black.

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