Turkiye and Syria have been ravaged by a series of recent earthquakes, as over 50,000 people have died -- including former Premier League forward Christian Atsu -- across the neighboring countries since the first of three struck on Feb. 6. And as the countries try to heal from the tragedy, fans of the Turkish soccer club Beşiktaş are channeling their passion toward the cause.
During Beşiktaş' game against Antalyaspor on Sunday, fans threw thousands of soft toys onto the pitch in a touching, widespread donation to children affected by the earthquakes. The toy throwing began at the 4:17 mark of the game because the first earthquake struck at 4:17 a.m. on Feb. 6.
As the clock strikes 04:17 (the time of the earthquake), Beşiktaş fans throw thousands of soft toys onto the pitch to be sent to kids in the affected areas.— Can Okar (@canokar) February 26, 2023
Again, proud that this is my club. I love this club.pic.twitter.com/mAJiykrMKr
Beşiktaş fans threw toys onto the pitch at least once before, as in 2011 they did so to donate to the children affected by an earthquake in the Turkish city Van.
Trabzonspor, another Turkish soccer club, unveiled a tifo honoring the earthquake victims and rescue workers before its game against the Swiss club Basel earlier this month. In that game, all ticket sales went to relief funds, and a banner that read "Yaninizdayiz" -- which translates to "we are with you" -- was on the Akyazi Arena pitch.