TURKEY – The Turkish Olympic Committee has banned the use of the term “terrorist” in sports and the country’s government is cracking down on the use and distribution of anti-government material, including videos.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday the ban will apply to all sporting events.
The government announced the move in response to a series of violent incidents at rallies in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities, where demonstrators took to the streets in recent weeks to voice opposition to Mr Erdogan’s rule.
“We don’t want to ban the use or distribution of certain things,” said Mr Erdogan.
“This will be applied at all sports, but I will not stop the use as long as the use is peaceful.
I have asked the prime minister and government representatives to give the green light to all the sporting events that take place.”
Mr Erdogan’s government has been criticised for cracking down against protesters in recent months.
In July, Mr Erdogan banned rallies after protesters clashed with police.
Mr Erdogan also ordered the closure of the countrys largest public broadcaster, the CNNTürk, and said he wanted to make sure all media outlets did not publish videos or images that could incite violence.
The Turkish Football Federation said on Thursday it would suspend all football competitions for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which it said was “an attack on the integrity and patriotism of the Turkish people”.
The government said on Wednesday that its aim was to reduce the threat of terrorism to the Turkish public.
Turkish authorities have said the threat is still “very real”.
The president has said he wants to see a stronger relationship with Iran, a close ally of Turkey.
“If we have an agreement with Iran in a future agreement, we will discuss how we will co-operate with them,” Mr Erdogan said.