Hold your fire, Turks told ahead of semis clash

  • Other Sport
  • Wednesday, 25 Jun 2008

ANKARA: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called on Turks to refrain from firing celebratory shots into the air should their side defeat Germany in today’s Euro 2008 semi-finals.

“I hope our national team will be successful yet again and spill people on to the streets to celebrate,” Erdogan told a parliamentary group meeting of his Justice and Development Party.

“But let me warn you: It is a ... grave mistake and an unacceptable situation that some of our citizens grab their guns after every victory in the misconception that they are celebrating.

“Nobody has the right to turn happiness into pain and grief. No victory is more important than human life,” he said.

His appeal came after one person was killed and around 20 others were wounded by celebratory gunshots in the aftermath of Turkey’s win against Croatia last week that carried them to the European Championship semi-finals for the first time.

Turks are notorious for breaking out into celebratory gunshots after football victories, whether they be domestic or international matches, in a practice that has caused deaths. – AFP

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