"Ultra-nationalist leader calls for games without spectators"
The leader of the far- right MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), Devlet Bahceli, on Sunday sharply criticized football fans in Turkey who protested against the government for its response to the earthquake and later resigned from membership of the Besiktas club, whose fans chanted, "The government must resign."
Earlier, fans of Fenerbahce, another major Istanbul soccer club, had called for the government's resignation with slogans that said the government had continued its "pack of lies" for the last 20 years.
"The Nationalist Movement Party strongly condemns the disrespect to our citizens who lost their lives in the earthquake and the use of sports as an instrument for dirty politics in such sensitive and painful days of our country," Bahceli tweeted, calling on clubs to "urgently take the necessary steps to play the games either without spectators or with the necessary precautions."
Senol Gunes, the coach of Besiktas, replied:
"We should stay away from accusations, destruction and humiliation. We're running a sporting race."