'Türkiye, Türkiye!': Turkey Fans Fill the Streets of Germany

The party was unprecedented. Following Turkey's improbable Euro 2008 comeback win over the Czech Republic on Sunday night, Germany's Turkish community took their celebration onto the streets.

The centers of Germany's big cities were transformed into seas of Turkish flags on Sunday night as tens of thousands of football fans took to the streets to celebrate Turkey's improbable 3-2 comeback victory against the Czech Republic. In Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and other cities, Turkey fans paraded through streets in car conveys, honking their horns and shouting "Türkiye, Türkiye" after the final whistle of the EURO 2008 game on Sunday.

On Berlin's famous Kurfürstendamm avenue, traffic came to a standstill as 25,000 fans celebrated their team's win. "I've never seen anything like this in my life," a jubilant Turkey fan told the German news agency DPA. In Kreuzberg and Neukölln, two other parts of the city with large Turkish populations, ecstatic fans danced on the streets and set off firecrackers. A police spokeswoman in the Kreuzberg district said: "There's a total party atmosphere."

The mood was very different earlier in the evening. Many Turkish fans had already resigned themselves to their team's going out in the group stage. At a public screening in Hamburg many of the nearly 5,000 Turkish fans had gone home early while their team was losing 2-0.

But an amazing comeback by Turkey -- three goals in the last 15 minutes -- secured victory and a place in the quarterfinals. "It's like a miracle," said 20-year-old Okan Türk, while celebrating the victory with friends in Hamburg.

maw/dpa

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