At least 7 Kurdish youths arrested in Turkey after raising Kurdistan flag

Turkey’s ministry of interior on Sunday quickly put a statement, saying it would not allow anyone to “poison sports with provocative content”.
author_image Kurdistan 24
Kurdish fans raising Kurdistan Region flag during a soccer match in Diyarbakir(Amed) in Turkey, Sept 25, 2022. (Photo: Submitted to Kurdistan 24)
Kurdish fans raising Kurdistan Region flag during a soccer match in Diyarbakir(Amed) in Turkey, Sept 25, 2022. (Photo: Submitted to Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish police arrested at least seven youths on Monday after they had chanted a Kurdish nationalist slogan and waved the Kurdistan Region flag during a soccer match. 

Held on Sunday in Diyarbakir (Amed) in southeast Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan), the young Kurdish fans during a match, in which Amedspor secured a 2:0 victory against Bursaspor, chanted Biji Kurdistan (Long Live Kurdistan) as they waived Kurdistan Region’s flag on Sunday.

The fans also raised the photos of the 22-year-old Kurdish girl, Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, who had recently died in the custody of Iranian police. She was violently arrested for not wearing a “proper hijab” in Tehran.

The arrest came after Kurdistan 24 shared the footage of the cheering. 

Turkey’s ministry of interior on Sunday quickly released a statement, saying it would not allow anyone to “poison sports with provocative content”, adding a probe has been launched into the matter.

The Kurdistan 24 correspondent in the Kurdish-majority city said at least seven of those that had taken part in the game has been arrested. Some of them were contacted by police while others were arrested in their homes during a raid.

The arrest and the interior ministry’s statement sparked reactions in the city as well as from at least a right-wing Turkish politician.

Why the flag of the Kurdistan Region is a crime while it has been set during meetings between Turkish officials and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Kani Torun, the head of Future Party, asked in a tweet on Monday. 

The KRG is a constitutional entity, the Turkish politician added.

The Kurdistan Region flag has been seen in at least two high-level meetings between the Iraqi Kurdish region’s presidents and Turkish officials.

Kurdish tourists in 2019 were attacked by a nationalist Turk in Trabzon for raising a Kurdistan flag.