Berlin police stopped a Türkiye football fan march ahead of the Euro 2024 quarterfinals against the Netherlands over wolf salute.

A fan march is “not a platform for political messages,” the police announced on X.

German authorities also closed and evacuated two official Berlin fan zones at the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag blaming “approaching storms and squalls.”

But both fan zones reopened some two hours before kick-off between Netherlands and Türkiye, scheduled for 7 p.m. GMT, as “the strong squalls and the potential storm have passed over Berlin and the weather situation improved considerably,” organizers said.

Turkish fans are angry after defender Merih Demiral was controversially banned for two games by tournament organizer UEFA for giving the Turkic wolf salute after his second goal in the 2-1 last-16 win over Austria.

UEFA deemed the gesture to have a far-right nature, but Turkish officials say it is nothing of the sort.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan landed in Berlin for the game and arrived at the stadium shortly before kick-off, the Anadolu news agency reported.

He plans to leave Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to return to Türkiye the same evening, Erdogan’s office told dpa.

The president had dismissed criticism of the gesture, saying that the player had only expressed his “enthusiasm.”

Turkish broadcaster TRT described UEFA’s decision as a “scandal” while the football federation head Mehmet Büyükeksi called it “unacceptable, illegal and political.”

Former Turkish Germany player Mesut Özil threw his support behind Demiral by posting his photo on Instagram before the Euro 2024 quarterfinalists.

He posted the photograph a few hours before the game, along with the caption “Come on Türkiye!”

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