“Wolf salute” at the European Championships: Türkiye summons German ambassador

“Wolf salute” at the European Championships: Türkiye summons German ambassador
“Wolf salute” at the European Championships: Türkiye summons German ambassador

Dear Demiral

Merih Demiral formed the so-called “wolf salute” with his fingers after his second goal against Austria on Tuesday. a hand sign and symbol of the “Grey Wolves”. The “Grey Wolves” are the name given to the supporters of the right-wing extremist “Ülkücü movement”, which is monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany.

  • This is what the “wolf greeting” looks like

In Turkey, the ultra-nationalist MHP is considered the political representative of the “Grey Wolves” and is an alliance partner of the Islamic-conservative AKP party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The discussions surrounding this gesture overshadow the Turks’ first-ever European Championship quarter-final appearance.

Even German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser joined the ranks of critics.”The symbols of Turkish right-wing extremists have no place in our stadiums. Using the European Football Championship as a platform for racism is completely unacceptable,” the politician tweeted, calling for an investigation by UEFA.

This led to a reaction in Turkish politics. The German ambassador was summoned.

The head of the ultra-nationalist MHP, Devlet Bahceli, described UEFA’s initiation of proceedings against the player as a “provocation”. The step was “extremely biased and wrong”. UEFA was thus jumping on the “evil train” of those “who are obviously hostile to the Turks and Turkey”.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry described the investigation as unacceptable. Not every person who displays the sign of the Grey Wolves can be described as right-wing extremist, it said. The wolf salute is also not banned in Germany and the reactions of the German authorities were “xenophobic”.

The highlights of the European Championship round of 16 between Austria and Turkey:

Turkish players are shielded

In order to protect the players from the discussion, the Turkish association had cancelled its partially public training on Wednesday at short notice.

  • Also read an EM analysis: What was good and what wasn’t in the ÖFB team

When players Orkun Kökcü and Okay Yokuslu were asked about the action and possible consequences at a press conference, a spokesman for the Turkish association intervened: “Our player commented on this last night. UEFA is looking into the matter. We will not make any further statements on the matter today.”

Demiral had previously explained that the way he celebrated had something to do with his “Turkish identity”. Human rights activists strongly criticized the celebrations. Turkey will play in Berlin on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals of the European Championship.

This article about the European Football Championship summed it up:

  • The Turkish footballer Dear Demiral had after his second goal in the 2-1 European Championship round of 16 win over Austria in Leipzig the “Wolf greeting“, a gesture considered nationalistic.
  • The German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser publicly stated that such symbols have no place and called on UEFA to investigate and consider possible consequences.
  • This sparked opposition in Turkish politics, which criticised Faeser’s reaction and German Ambassador summoned in Turkey.

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Source: Nachrichten

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