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Press Centre (2/2014)

Meaningful Support from Gaziantepspor and Besiktas Football Clubs to UNICEF

Footballers from Gaziantepspor and Besiktas Football Clubs will take to the field in the game on February 7, hand-in-hand with Syrian children staying in the camps. UNICEF Turkey, Gaziantepspor and Besiktas Football Clubs together carry out a crucial social responsibility project organized for Syrian children. As part of this cooperation, in the game that will take place on February 7, Friday, at Gaziantep Şehit Kamil Ocak Stadium between Gaziantepspor and Besiktas Football Clubs, the footballers will enter to the football field hand-in-hand with Syrian children. The visiting team, Besiktas, will take to the football ground with the banner, “Syrian Children Need Your Support”.

In the placard, hashtags of “No Lost Generation” Campaign launched by UNICEF around the world for Syrian children and of “I Need You” Campaign conducted with the support of Prime Minister Disaster & Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) will also be reminded to the public. 

Turkish children from Gaziantep and Syrian children from the camps, aged between 7-8 years of age, will accompany the footballers of two teams in the ceremony. Syrian children are chosen in coordination with AFAD from the camps in Gaziantep where Syrians are staying.

UNICEF Turkey Representative, Dr. Ayman Abulaban, has made a statement about the football activity: “These two football clubs are providing a unique support for Syrian children. It is also crucial in attracting again the attention of the public to this issue which has recently gone unnoticed. Many things are still waiting to be carried out for the education of Syrian children. Additionally, the hand-in-hand entrance of the children of both countries to the football field is pretty significant in strengthening the already-existing friendship between two countries.”

Abulaban continued his speech: “I would like to express my special thanks to the Presidents, Board of Directors, Trainers and Footballers of Gaziantepspor and Besiktas Football Clubs on behalf of all Syrian children. Both football clubs have shown, once more, awareness to social issues. In addition, I would also like to thank Turkish Football Federation which provided great support to us in this activity, and the representatives from AFAD. I hope that we can carry out this kind of social responsibility projects in the widest sense with other football clubs as well in future. Even the idea of a Turkish football team providing global support to UNICEF similar to the support given by Barcelona Football Club, is exciting.”

Millions of people had to flee from Syria because of ongoing humanitarian crisis happening in the country for 3 years. Turkey, by not looking on this humanitarian crisis taking place in neighbouring country, is hosting hundreds of thousands Syrians in its borders. UNICEF Turkey is carrying out projects for Syrian children in education, child protection, health, youth and nutrition.


Tulay Guler, UNICEF Turkey, +90 530 171 07 36

Ayberk Yurtsever, UNICEF Turkey, +90 530 179 13 64

Mehmet Bilgic, Gaziantepspor Football Club, +90 342 322 20 00

UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org