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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK

Triumphalism hits Turkey

A festival atmopshere descended on Turkey following the nation's qualification for the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

A single goal from Umit Davala after 12 minutes was enough to deny Japan a place in the last eight against Senegal.

But as football fever gave way to an outpouring of grief in Japan, fans poured onto the streets in celebration in Turkey.

Major daily newspaper Milliyet said: "It's a festival today. Let's hit the road."

Milliyet described the day as a "national holiday".

In Istanbul, Taksim and Sultanahmet squares were crowded with people chanting "Turkey is proud of you" to a backdrop of blaring car horns and song.

Similar scenes were played out across the country with thousands of people thronging Kizilay square in Ankara

People jumped into the sea in Izmir and a man was detained after setting his car on fire in celebration.

" We aim to take our place in semi-finals "
Turkey coach
Senol Gunes

Fireworks were set off from boats off the coast and a military helicopter joined the celebrations, buzzing low over the joyous crowds.

The mass circulation daily Hurriyet printed a special edition after the victory under the headline: "18th June, Sushi feast".

"We squashed them like Sumo wrestlers," it added.

"People did not go to work, they just watched football. Life stopped for 90 minutes.

"Deserted streets were filled with joy after the finishing whistle. Everybody grabbed their flag and ran out to the streets."


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