Turkish football fans put on trial over 'coup bid'

FC Besiktas fans warm up next to a fire on December 16, 2014 in Istanbul during a protest against the trial of fans that took part in mass anti-government protests in Gezi Park in 2013Thirty-five supporters of Turkish top-flight football side Besiktas went on trial Tuesday facing life imprisonment on charges of seeking to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government in 2013 protests. Hundreds of Besiktas supporters staged a raucous protest outside the Istanbul criminal court, shouting football chants backing the accused, who are all members of the club’s main fan club, the Carsi Group. “Charging these Besiktas football club fans as enemies of the state for joining a public protest is a ludicrous travesty,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch.

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