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Israel soccer team playing in Turkey, despite tensions

JTA

September 15, 2011 | 11:25 am

Maccabi Tel Aviv's players attend a training session at Inonu stadium in Istanbul on Sept. 14. Photo byREUTERS/Murad Sezer

Maccabi Tel Aviv's players attend a training session at Inonu stadium in Istanbul on Sept. 14. Photo byREUTERS/Murad Sezer

An Israeli soccer team arrived in Istanbul to play a Turkish team, despite tensions between the two countries.

The Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer team landed Wednesday night amid heavy security. Turkish protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted anti-Israel slogans outside the hotel in which the Israeli team is staying ahead of Thursday evening’s Europa League game against Besiktas at İnonu Stadium in Istanbul.

The team was instructed to remain inside the hotel and wait for armed escorts to take them to practice and the game.

Hundreds of Israeli fans had been expected to attend the game before rising tensions between Israel and Turkey came to a head in recent days. Only a handful of fans reportedly arrived in Turkey with the team.

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