Erdogan calls the Demiral ban a political act and directed at Turkey’s nationhood

July 9 – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the suspension of Turkish international Merih Demiral, scorer of two goals in the last 16 round, a “political” act.

Erdogan (pictured) was speaking after Turkey’s 2-1 elimination by the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the Euro 2024 championship in Germany.
Demiral was banned for two matches by UEFA for his celebration after the second goal against Austria, when he showed the ‘grey wolf sign.
The 26-year-old celebrated his second goal by raising the index and little finger of each hand above his head. The gesture appeared to perform a ‘Wolf’s Salute’, associated with the Gray Wolves group, a far-right extremist group in Turkey.

Demoral said that he had pre-planned the celebration if he scored.
“First of all, I congratulate both the Turkish Football Federation Presidency, the technical staff, and everyone who contributed to the organization of the championship. As you know, this match was played under the shadow of the unjust decision taken by UEFA regarding Merih Demiral.

“The 2-match ban given to Merih by UEFA, to be frank, has seriously overshadowed the championship. It is impossible to explain this, it is a completely political decision. This decision has darkened consciences, but thankfully it has not affected the morale and motivation of our national team”, said Erdogan in an interview after Turkey’s elimination,” continued Erdogan.

“The West’s mentality has never changed in its approach to us. The West has continued with the same mentality and continues in the same way. The penalty they gave to Merih Demiral is a penalty that was decided from the very beginning. I had also expressed it in our plane interview on the way back from Kazakhstan. If the issue is to punish the grey wolf sign, the Germans have eagles, do you punish the eagle? No. The French have roosters, do you go and punish the French by saying ‘Why are you roostering’? No.

“However, this penalty given to Merih, who made the grey wolf sign that is among our legends in the excitement of that goal and the goals scored one after another in Turkey, is not directed at Merih personally. In fact, it is a penalty given against the structure of Turkey as a nation,” he added.

Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1721247742labto1721247742ofdlr1721247742owedi1721247742sni@o1721247742fni1721247742