Turks get party started in readiness for Germany clash

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Thousands of Turkish Germans took to the streets after a penalty shoot out put Turkey through to a semi final with Germany at Euro 2008

Berlin -- Tens of thousands of Turks living in Germany partied peacefully until the early hours of Saturday after their team reached the Euro 2008 semi-finals the previous night.

"The atmosphere is wild but very peaceful," said a police spokesman in Berlin. "The fans are very approachable because there is hardly any alcohol involved."

Some minor scuffles were reported from Frankfurt.

The celebrations of delighted Turkey fans on Berlin's Kurfuerstendamm, Hamburg's Reeperbahn and elsewhere in Germany started just minutes after Turkey beat Croatia on penalties on Vienna on Friday night.

Traffic came to a standstill in Cologne, Bremen, Munich and elsewhere as Turks ecstatic about their team's first ever place in the final four of the continental tournament took to the streets.

Some 30,000 fans watched the game in Hamburg's fan zone and large crowds were also reported from other public viewing areas.

But far more people are expected on Wednesday when Turkey play Germany in Basle, Switzerland, for a place in the final. Germany's biggest public viewing area opens for that game in Berlin, with expansion beyond a 500,000-capacity already considered.

"It couldn't have been better and nicer in Berlin with these two teams. It will be amazing on Wednesday, we expect 500,000 fans, maybe even more, then we would have to expand the area," said the organizers' spokesman Michael Wirtz.

The Berlin fan zone attracted more than one million people on some games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Turks form the biggest community of foreigners in Germany with 1,7 million, while 225,309 Croatians live in the country. Some 160,000 Turks or people of Turkish descent live in Berlin alone.

Germany defender Arne Friedrich, who lives in Berlin and is the captain of local club Hertha BSC, expects a huge party on Wednesday in the city.

"I phoned my girlfriend. It must have been unbelievable (in Berlin on Friday night). Everyone is now looking forward to the game in Berlin. It will be a huge party. Everything is set for a great game," Friedrich said at the German Euro camp in Tenero, Switzerland. DPA

2 Comments To This Article

  • alvin halpern posted:

    on 23rd June 2008, 19:14:15 - Reply

    Whether Turkey wins or loses on Wedneday,Turkey proved to be one of the best four teams in the whole EUROPE. Especially when some of the soccer giants like France, Portugal,Italy,Croatia are eliminated before Turkey, and never made it to the next round. I am proud of Turkey, and for letting us witness soccer at it best. It takes a real tough and a great team to score 3 goals in 15 minutes to comvert a 2-0 loss to a 3-2 win. In all my years of watching soccer, I have never seen such perseverence. GREAT SOCCER BY TURKEY...
  • alvin halpern posted:

    on 22nd June 2008, 22:59:51 - Reply

    If Turkey is eliminated from Euro' 08 this Wednesday, it wont be because a Germany win, it will be because of the actions of a very racist UEFA and its puppet referees needlessly booking the Turkish players with yellow and red cards for the most inane, minor infractions committed during the Euro' 08 games. The racist referees are responsible for benching Turkey's best four starters, leaving the Turkish coach to depend on his substitutes. UEFA and its referees decimated the best Turkish players so they wont be available for the Germany game. Ironically, all the soccer fields proudly advertise "SAY NO TO RACISM" signs, and UEFA is yet to practice what it preaches. Its a shame when racism infiltrates soccer. Let the teams play soccer, don't bring your racism to the field and render a team ineffective by benching its best players due to bookings with an intent to bench players in favor of the opposing or the favorite team.
    Shame on UEFA and its complicit referees in this contrived scheme.