The Adnan Menderes Stadium is the biggest stadium in Turkey’s Aegean Province of Aydin with a capacity of 10,988 (although Wikipedia will tell you its capacity is 15,000). It is a fairly modern stadium home to Aydinspor 1923, currently playing in the third tier of Turkish football. The previous incarnation of Aydinspor 1923—“real” Aydinspor—were dissolved in 2011 after falling to the amateur ranks but they played in this stadium during their appearances in the Turkish top flight from 1990-93 (including a famous 1-6 victory over Turkish giants Fenerbahce on 26 August 1990, to this day still the biggest loss Fenerbahce have ever suffered in their home stadium).


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The Adnan Menderes Stadium was built in 1950 with the name Aydin Sehir (City) Stadium before being renamed in August 1980 after former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. Prime Minister Menderes was a controversial figure as the founder of the fourth legal opposition party of Turkey—the Democrat Party—and led Turkey from 1950 to 1960. Under his rule Turkey modernized rapidly and joined NATO, but many of his reforms were seen as going against Ataturk’s ideals and the Istanbul Pogrom—where many Greek homes and businesses where destroyed—remain a dark spot on his legacy. After the 1960 Military coup Prime Minister Menderes was deposed and, on September 17 1961, executed despite pleas for his pardon by many including US President John F. Kennedy.

But politics and history can move in different directions, and those who die at the gallows can go on to become martyrs; Prime Minister Menderes and those under him where posthumously pardoned 29 years to the day on September 17 1990. His name now lives on at the Aydin Adnan Menderes UniversityIzmir Adnan Menderes Airport, and the Aydin Adnan Menderes Stadium:



Bonus: On the way back from the Stadium–with my Aydınspor 1923 shirt in hand–I was treated with a beautiful rainbow rising over the hills of Aydin province’s Söke district: