According to the media outlet, Ergin Ataman expressed his disappointment at the booing of his country's national anthem, while reiterating his love for Greece.
“First of all, I want to say an important thing for me. There was a great basketball atmosphere here today, even though it was summer, it was exciting to see 20,000 people together in the hall for the preparation tournament. Still, as the Turkish national basketball team, we need to be shown respect for our nation. Especially our national anthem should be respected more because Greece is our friend. There may be some political situations, but we are friends and that’s why we participated in the preparatory tournament”.
“I love Greece,” underlined the senior national team selector of Turkey, “I saw people influenced by the political situation. This situation is created by the media. This situation is not good. As a fan, a basketball coach, and a member of a basketball team, I think we must be respectful to each other. But we are friends, this is the reason we are here.”
“Of course, it’s bad, but it’s not something that can be solved at a press conference,” mentioned after being asked for his comment on the issue Dimitris Itoudis, the head coach of Greece and also of Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Beko at the club level, “I am proud to be Greek, but we have to state what’s bad. Not only me but everyone. I hope that we will reach that level. The essence is that the majority of fans behaved properly during the Turkish national anthem and I don’t want to open a dialogue with those who didn’t.”