Turkey’s football fans unite after bomb attacks at Istanbul stadium

A Besiktas fan, his face painted with the colours of the Turkish flag, at the soccer match between Beisktas and Kayserispor, the first game since Saturday's twin attacks outside the stadium in Istanbul, 14 Wednesday 2016Image copyright

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Football fans paid tribute to the 44 people killed in an attack outside a stadium in Istanbul

Thousands of rival fans have come together in a show of solidarity to pay their respects to the 44 people killed outside a stadium in Istanbul.

Crowds arrived to watch top-division team Besiktas in their first home match since a twin bomb attack targeted police at its stadium on Saturday.

Football fans, many of them waving Turkish flags, packed the Vodafone Arena.

The teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of those killed.

Besiktas said that money from Wednesday’s ticket sales would be given to the families of victims.

The attacks at the weekend occurred just hours after a match.

A car bomb hit a police vehicle and a suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest in quick succession. Ten arrests were made.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that one of the bombers involved in the attack was from Syria.

The majority of those killed were police officers. Dozens of people were also injured, officials said.

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AFP/Getty Images

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Fans of arch-rivals Besiktas, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor all came together

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Getty Images

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Flowers in the colours of the national flag were left outside the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul

Fans making their way to Wednesday’s game broke away from their usual team slogans to show a united front, the AFP news agency reports.

Veyiz Oguz, a Besiktas team coach, said Turkish football fans were united in mourning.

“Right now, Galatasaray fans are with us, Fenerbahce fans are with us,” he said, referring to two other Istanbul teams.

Flowers, including red and white carnations, the colours of the national flag, were left outside the stadium along with scarves from numerous Turkish football teams.

Media captionBesiktas TV presenter flees as blast hits stadium

Turkey’s football fans unite after bomb attacks at Istanbul stadium

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