Amedspor, a second league football team in Turkey from Kurdish-majority Diyarbakır (Amed), released a video on Saturday featuring players engaging in a friendly match with children on the streets of the historic Sur district.
As Turkey’s new football season kicks off, the video, presented as the unveiling of the team’s jerseys for the 2023-2024 season, has garnered significant attention on social media platforms.
Accompanied by the song “Amedspor Digel Şehrîban” by Kurdish musicians Serhado and Şehrîban Guneş, the video showcases several female football players alongside their male counterparts and children. The visuals not only capture the spirit of the game but also break down entrenched gender norms in the football world, highlighting women’s active participation and camaraderie with men and children in the field.
Amedspor hit the headlines last season when they were the victims of an attack in the northwestern city of Bursa, where they were due to play a local team, in the run-up to Turkey’s crucial elections in May.
In March, Bursaspor supporters attacked Amedspor players as they arrived on the pitch before kick-off, chanting racist slogans against Kurds and holding up banners depicting Turkish paramilitary figures accused of killing Kurds in Diyarbakir (Amed) in the 1990s. During the match, they continued to throw objects at the players, slightly injuring Amedspor’s goalkeeper.
Amedspor have been the target of similar attacks in Turkey in recent years after their name change to the Kurdish name of the city of Diyarbakir, Amed.
In 2016, a controversial ban was levied on the away-game attendance of fans of Amedspor, shortly after the club underwent a name change in 2014.
The team has often been the target of nationalist and anti-Kurdish chants during away games, leading to violence.
In September, five Amedspor fans were detained for raising a Kurdistan flag during a match.