Fans of the Turkish soccer club Beşiktaş J.K. demonstrated great spirit of love and solidarity on Sunday by throwing thousands of soft toys onto the pitch during the match against Antalyaspor for the children affected by the devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria earlier in the month.
As the clock stroke 4:17 in the game, fans started to throw the stuffed toys to signal the time of day that the first earthquake struck the region on Feb. 6.
Çocuklar hep gülsün. pic.twitter.com/JWyzKTLgD2— Beşiktaş JK (@Besiktas) February 26, 2023
Many of the toys were stuffed bears, rabbits and other animals in a touching, widespread donation to children affected by the earthquakes.
As the toys gathered on the edges of the pitch, players ran out to collect them and thank the fans.
The touching moment was widely praised on social media.
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
Istanbul club Besiktas fans have thrown thousands of stuffed toys on the field in a symbol of solidarity with children who were affected by the devastating earthquakes in Turkiye.#turkiyeearthquake #Turkish #humans #WorldNews pic.twitter.com/lZialsS7q2— Huzaima khan Swati (@_h_k_swati_) February 28, 2023
Turkey: As a gesture of solidarity, Besiktas fans interrupted game with 4:17 on clock, exact time of 1st earthquake, with huge sections of home team, throwing stuffed animals onto pitch. Stuffed animals will be distributed to child survivors of earthquake pic.twitter.com/zCzyzF9Hoy— GoodNewsCorrespondent (@GoodNewsCorres1) February 27, 2023
Fans of Beşiktaş and Antalyaspor shower the pitch with toys to donate to young survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey. I love this game.pic.twitter.com/i8zS1m5oL7— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) February 26, 2023
Turkey and Syria have been ravaged by a series of recent earthquakes, as over 50,000 people have died.
Among the victims was Ghanian soccer player Christian Atsu, who was found dead under the building where he lived, according to his agent. Atsu was 31 and had been playing for Hatayspor.
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.