The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced that the word “arena” had been removed from the names of all stadiums in the country on May 27, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The move comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan voiced his opposition to the term in a speech on May 26, saying he had instructed the sports minister to order the removal of “arena” from the names of stadiums across Turkey.
Galatasaray was first out of the blocks, announcing that it would change the name of its Türk Telecom Arena. The decision was taken at the club’s board meeting on May 27.
President Erdoğan had stated that he had instructed the sports minister to order the removal of the word “arena” from the names of all sports stadiums across Turkey.
“I am against ‘arenas.’ You know what they do in arenas, don’t you? People were dismembered there [by animals]. I have given the instruction to the minister and we will remove the name ‘arena’ from stadiums.
There is no such thing in our language. Look at the definition, there cannot be such a thing,” he said.