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Turkish club urges fans not to stir up troubles against Israeli guests

Besiktas worried of their home match against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Europa League

AP, Wednesday 14 Sep 2011
Israeli embassy residence in Ankara
A group of pro-Palestinian Turks hold placards that read "Murderer Israel take your bloodied hands off sports" and "No to terror in Football" as they stage a protest outside the Israeli embassy residence in Ankara (Photo: AP)
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Turkish club Besiktas is urging fans not to stir up trouble ahead of Thursday’s Europa League game against Maccabi Tel Aviv, saying police are taking measures to counter protests—including plans to invade the pitch.

Tensions between the two countries have deepened after Israel refused to apologize for a raid on a Gaza-bound ship last year that killed nine activists.

Israel has expressed regret but says its troops acted in self-defense, prompting Turkey to downgrade its relations with Tel Aviv.

In a statement Wednesday, Besiktas asked fans to show “hospitality” to Maccabi, warning the Turkish club could face punishment from UEFA for any unruly behavior.

Besiktas also said police are taking measures to thwart protests being organized on social networking sites.

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