Turkey: Police Remove Sport Flags with Crosses

October 13, 2019

Christianity in Turkey: this article doesn’t involve the Christians who live in Turkey, but it is indicative of the conditions under which they must live. The Turkish government is actively hostile to Christianity and contemptuous of the nation’s rich and extensive Christian heritage. Christian sites all over the country lie in ruins, and the Turkish government continues to harass the Ecumenical Patriarchate, denying it legal status and property rights, such that numerous properties belonging to it have been seized and it has no recourse. What happened to the German soccer fans is a small and relatively benign example of what the Christians of Turkey must endure on a daily basis.

For previous coverage of Christianity in Turkey at, see here.

“Turkish Police Remove Sport Flags with Crosses,” International Christian Concern, October 12, 2019:

10/12/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkish police in Istanbul removed the flags of football (soccer) fans sporting a symbol of cross. The football match between Mönchengladbach (Germany) and Basaksehir (Turkey) occurred on October 3rd as part of a Europa League match.

The flag of the German team was stylized as a coat of arms which includes a black cross on yellow background. The German team reported significant harassment by the authorities during their time in Turkey for their display of the Christian symbols which are common in their home city. It was estimated that approximately 1,200 fans from Mönchengladbach had traveled to Istanbul to witness the match. But the police refused to let many of them enter the stadium since their sport items contained symbols of the cross. As a result, photos show the stadium with large gaps of empty space.

Turkey has a long history of restricting Christian symbols in a public space. Just last month, in the city of Trabzon, Turkey had ruled that the architectural elements of houses which resemble crosses will not be tolerated….