Turkish Parliament to Probe Match Fixing and Fan Violence

ANKARA Turkey (Associated Press) - The Turkish Parliament voted this week in favor of setting up a commission to investigate allegations of match-fixing and bribery in Turkish soccer and lay out plans to rid the country's stadiums of rampant violence.

The vote came a day after the Turkish soccer federation ordered Besiktas to play its next three home games in an empty stadium following the stabbing death of a 16-year-old fan during a league match on Sunday.

Turkish soccer has been marred by allegations of fraud and match-fixing with referees and players being accused of taking bribes from criminal gangs involved in betting.

The all-party 12-member commission is charged with probing those allegations and proposing measures to stamp out violence. It was expected to release findings at the end of a three-month probe.

Cihat Aktas was stabbed to death Sunday during a fight between Besiktas fans at halftime of the team's match against Rizespor.

A suspect captured after the match confessed to the killing and admitted that he stabbed Aktas after he bumped into him in the stands. Reports said the suspect used a knife which he smuggled into the stadium in his boot.

Fans frequently clash outside or inside stadiums in Turkey especially during matches between Turkey's major teams. Earlier this year Turkey introduced measures including jail terms for troublemakers long-term stadium bans for repeat offenders and penalties for clubs held responsible for crowd trouble. But those steps have so far been ineffective.

Soccer authorities and club representatives met in Istanbul on Monday to seek formulas such as an end to club-organized tours for away matches.

In April 2000 two English soccer fans were killed in street clashes in downtown Istanbul before Leeds played Galatasaray in a UEFA Cup semifinal.

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