Police in Thessaloniki on Alert for Greek-Turkish Football Clash



Credit: Salonica84/Wikipedia

A great number of police officers, along with squads from Greece’s anti-terrorist unit, have been deployed in Thessaloniki for Tuesday’s football game between PAOK and Turkey’s Besiktas team for the Champions League qualifiers.

The Istanbul-based team will arrive in the city on Tuesday morning amidst heightened tensions between the two neighboring nations in the Aegean, as Turkish drilling ships are inside Greece’s continental shelf, claiming they will continue to search for natural gas.

Draconian security measures are in place, as Greek authorities fear there might be provocations from both sides. Police units will be at the Macedonia Airport for the arrival of the Turkish team and stationed around the hotel where they will be staying.

Additionally, police units will be in and around the Toumba stadium before the match, making sure fans will not be able to congregate in the area during the game.

According to Besiktas, the traveling group will consist of 55 people. Along with the players and coaching staff, the team’s Board of Directors, headed by President Ahmet Nour Cebi, accompanied by ten members of the Turkish press, will arrive in Thessaloniki on Monday (today).

PAOK President Ivan Savvidis asked for all possible security measures to be taken to prevent any kind of provocation. Besiktas’ president sent Savvidis a message saying that he is confident that the Turkish mission will enjoy the hospitality in Thessaloniki.