ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish club Besiktas has called on its fans not to cause trouble when the team takes on Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv in a Europa League match Thursday.
Tensions between the two countries have heightened with Israel’s refusal to apologize for the deaths of nine activists in a raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship last year. Israel has expressed regret but refuses to apologize, saying its troops acted in self-defense, prompting Turkey to downgrade its relations with Tel Aviv.
Besiktas board member Orhan Saka told the state-run Anatolia news agency Tuesday that fans should behave within the rules of “fair play.” He warned that Besiktas could face punishment for unruly behavior.
Saka’s comments came after a meeting among club officials, police and Istanbul’s governor’s office to discuss security for the game.