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Friday, 21 April, 2000, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Wild scenes greet Turkey's heroes
fans
Ecstatic fans greet the returning team
Turkey's Galatasaray returned home to a heroes' welcome early on Friday as hundreds of jubilant fans met the team at Istanbul airport in the early hours of the morning.

Roads across the country were packed for hours with cars blaring their horns. Ecstatic fans ignored police pleas against shooting by firing guns into the air in celebration ,and dancing in the main squares.

After a 4-2 aggregate win over Leeds United, Galatasaray become the first Turkish team to qualify for a European final.


fans
Dancing in the streets
The match was played in a tense atmosphere following the deaths of two Leeds fans in Istanbul before the first leg, which Galatasaray won 2-0.

After Thursday's win, Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said: "Today we're back and we're in the final. In 15 days we'll be back with the Cup."

Galatasaray will now face English club Arsenal in the Uefa final on 17 May.

Turkish newspapers plastered the win all over the front pages, devoting little room to anything else.

"It's not a dream, we're in the final," ran the banner headline on mainstream daily Sabah.


terim
Fatih Terim: "We'll be back"
"Today is the beginning of new era," announced mass-circulation Hurriyet, adding that Galatasaray defeated not only Leeds, but UEFA, whose controversial ban on Turkish fans travelling the match attracted a storm of criticism in Turkey.

Noting the youth of the Leeds team, Fotomac sports newspaper pointed out Arsenal might be a tougher proposition.

"Now its the turn of their big brothers," it said.

Tense atmosphere

The headlines of celebration were overshadowed by reports of attacks on the Turkish team bus, and Turkish television crews.

"The hooligans did not sit with folded arms," said liberal paper Radikal in a front-page headline on incidents before and after the match.


flowers
Players were handed flowers by excited fans
Fourteen people have now been charged in Leeds following arrests made for mostly drinking and public order related offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Garvin commented that although he was disappointed at the arrests, the number was "no worse than a normal high category game".

In Leeds, a banner hanging from a window above a shop opposite the football ground read "Welcome to Civilisation", a reference to the Turkish fans' notorious slogan for visiting supporters: "Welcome to Hell".

However Galatasaray's Fatih Terim declared: "Football won yesterday."

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See also:

20 Apr 00 | Football
Leeds fall short of glory
18 Apr 00 | UK
Hundreds salute Leeds fan
13 Apr 00 | Football
Leeds shock at Uefa charge
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Passion of Turkish fans
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