Turkish footballers in Europe have been under immense pressure for performing military salute after scoring during EURO 2020 qualifiers. German Bundesliga contender Fortuna Dusseldorf center back Kaan Ayhan scored 2 goals against France in two games which riveted Turkey’s chance to secure the first spot in the group. Ayhan performed the military salute after his goals and he was also hailed for his over performance.
The 24 year old attended filming of a popular Turkish talk show on Sunday in Essen, Germany. Beyazit Ozturk, the host of the show, invited Ayhan to the stage. The Turkish German player was given a standing ovation on the stage for minutes. Beyazit Ozturk said the whole country as well as Turkish people living in Europe are proud if Ayhan and other footballers whom still have strong ties to their mother nation.
Turkey has launched a military operation into northern Syria after striking consecutive double-deal with Moscow and Washington to eliminate the terror threat against its national security from the Syrian branch of terrorist PKK, PYD. Turkish footballers as well as athletes from other professions have performed military salute to show their support to soldiers fighting in Syria.
The top European football body EUFA has said that it will launch an investigation into the behavior of Turkish footballers. EUFA does not allow political gestures on the fields.
Another Turkish footballer, Cenk Sahin, playing for the second division team St Pauli was fired after he showed his support on social media for Turkey’s operation in Syria.
Turkish social media users have shared pictures of European players performing military salute on different occasions to reiterate the double standard of both European clubs and EUFA.