Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has requested that the word ‘arena’ be removed from the names of stadia across the country due to its negative connotations.
Erdogan feels that the word ‘arena’ evokes images of bloody violence at ancient Roman venues, and has instructed the country’s Sports Minister, Akif Catagay Kilic, to rid Turkey’s stadia of the moniker.
“I am against ‘arena’,” Erdogan said, according to the Sports Illustrated website. “Of course you know what they used to do in arenas in the past? They would let people be shred to pieces. We are going to remove the word ‘arena’ from stadiums.”
Super Lig football club Galatasaray has already moved to change the name of its stadium, Turk Telekom Arena. The Istanbul-based club’s ground will henceforth be known as Turk Telekom Stadium.
Other Turkish stadia with the word ‘arena’ in their names include Super Lig club Besiktas’ Vodafone Arena, and Ulker Sports Arena, home of basketball team Fenerbahce.