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Baku Protests Ban On Flag At Bursa Soccer Match

Protesters wave Azerbaijani flags during a demonstration against Turkish relations with Armenia near the Ataturk Stadium in Bursa on October 14.
BAKU -- Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish Charge d'Affaires Nihat Civaneri to complain about the ban of Azerbaijan's national flag at the historic Turkish-Armenian soccer match in Bursa last week, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov officially expressed his country's protest over Turkey's "disrespect to Azerbaijan's national flag."

The Turkish and Armenian soccer teams met in Bursa on October 14, with Turkish and Armenian leaders present.

The event became a symbol of the recent historic breakthrough in relations between Ankara and Yerevan.

Bursa's governor initially banned Azerbaijan's national flag at the stadium during the match, but, after numerous protests, he rescinded his order.

However, at the last moment, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) demanded that Azerbaijani flags not be allowed during the match.

Some fans who sought to ignore the ban clashed with law enforcement officers.