Violence mars victory as Turkish fans dance for joy in the streets of London

Britain's semi-finalists
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The Independent Online

Violence marred the celebrations when fighting broke out between about 100 Turks and 50 Kurdish men as jubilant Turkish supporters took to the streets at the heart of London's Turkish communities within minutes of yesterday's World Cup win by their national team.

Violence marred the celebrations when fighting broke out between about 100 Turks and 50 Kurdish men as jubilant Turkish supporters took to the streets at the heart of London's Turkish communities within minutes of yesterday's World Cup win by their national team.

Two men were arrested when the rival groups hurled missiles at each other, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said. Police later managed to separate the two groups.

Earlier there had been jubilant scenes, a cacophony of horns blaring from processions of cars making their way down Stoke Newington Road and Kingsland High Street in Hackney.

As supporters hung out of car windows and sunroofs waving the Turkish flag they were greeted with cheers, whistles and drums from the crowd that had gathered on the pavement.

Outside the Marquis of Lansdowne pub in Stoke Newington Road, run by Turks and bedecked with their national flag, fans were dancing in the street after the nail-biting finish in extra time saw Turkey advance to the semi-finals for the first time in the nation's history.

Every corner, free kick, tackle won, and successful pass by a Turkish player was greeted with cheers and rhythms beaten out on he traditional dumbelek drum. Every missed shot or ball lost was greeted with groans and wild gestures directed at the TV screen. When the ball finally went into the back of the net pandemonium broke lose.

"I'm just incredibly happy,'' said Mehmet Yildiz, 29, a student. "They will get the cup. We will beat Brazil next time. The first time we played them in the first round we made mistakes but this time we will get them.

"For Turkey this means a lot we have not been in the World Cup for eight years and 15 years ago we would regularly lose by four goals. To get this far is amazing.''

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