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Turkey fans pay tribute to earthquake victims during Croatia fixture

Before the game a huge tifo unfurled by Turkish supporters listed the regions worst-hit by the tragic earthquake.

Turkey fans pay tribute to earthquake victims

On Tuesday evening Turkey played on home soil for the first time since the tragic earthquake that is thought to have cost more than 57,000 people their lives. They lost 2-0 against recent World Cup semi-finalists Croatia, but for fans it was a chance to unite as a nation after the harrowing event.

The country has struggled to recover from the shocking event and an estimated 1.5 million people are now homeless. In the first game back in their country, supporters of the Turkish national team paid tribute to their compatriots who had lost their lives.

A huge tifo, the large emblematic banners often used by Turkish football fans, was unveiled before kick-off. The imagery referenced the names of the cities that had been worst affected by the tragic earthquake.

Along the top of the tifo were the words: “We will overcome the difficulties together. We will build beautiful tomorrows, shoulder to shoulder.”

Turkey fans pay tribute to earthquake victims
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Soccer Football - UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers - Group D - Turkey v Croatia - Bursa Timsah Arena, Bursa, Turkey - March 28, 2023 A Turkey banner is displayed before the match REUTERS/Murad SezerMURAD SEZERREUTERS

Turkey fans pay their respects to earthquake victims

Before the game kicked off, a minute’s silence was held in the Timsah Arena, Bursah. On the pitch players from both teams bowed their heads in a moment of reflection, while the stands fell silent in tribute to those who had passed away.

There was a deeply emotional rendition of the national anthem of Turkey, during which supporters waved the Turkish flag. The flag of the nation was prominent throughout the match, a sign of unity at a time of national crisis.

This is far from the first example of Turkish football fans looking to support victims of the earthquake. Earlier this month fans at Besiktas’ Vodafone Park stadium threw stuffed animals onto the pitch to be donated to children who had been affected.

The game was stopped for four minutes and 17 seconds to correspond with the time at which the quake struck, 4:17am on 6 February. Players helped to collect the donated toys, which were packaged up and distributed to those in need.