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Kocaelispor 1996-1997 Home Shirt in Memory of John “Shoes” Moshoeu

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I am posting this legendary Kocaelispor kit—sporting a classic Diadora design—in memory of the equally legendary South African midfielder John Lesiba “Shoes” Moshoeu.

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The fan favorite passed away on April 21 in Johannesburg, South Africa, after battling stomach cancer. He was 49 years old. On Monday April 27 hundreds of South African football supporters came to Soweto in order to say their last goodbyes to a footballer who represented Bafana Bafana 73 times; he was selected to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations squad for the last time at 38 years young before retiring at 42. Western media noted that he was one of the symbols of post-apartheid South Africa, one of the building blocks of the nation’s footballing success following the dark years of apartheid.

Moshoeu was a fan favorite wherever he went, and Turkish fans remember him fondly from the days of his ten-year adventure in Turkey from 1993-2003 during which he represented some of Turkey’s biggest clubs including Genclerbirligi, Kocaelispor, Fenerbahce, and Bursaspor. Local websites from Kocaeli did not forget a footballer that played a big part in their club’s golden years, winning the Turkish cup in 1997. Moshoeu himself never forgot Turkey (even though he initially had a tough time fitting in due to his skin color–foreign players were a novelty in the Turkish league of the early 1990s); for the last two years he assisted in coaching youths at a Turkish school in Pretoria and has been involved in many social development initiatives. Ilker Yilmaz, writing for hayatimfutbol.com, noted that he “didn’t neglect to pay football back for all it gave him…because he was Mandela’s man”.

Strangely “Shoes” Moshoeu’s untimely death came just three days before Kocaelispor—the team for which he shined—celebrated its 50th anniversary. One local sports blogger noted that while the club legend battled stomach cancer his old team was battling for its future; Kocaelispor have fallen to the amateur ranks of Turkish football and might even lose their legendary Ismet Pasa stadium, long a feared destination for visiting teams in Turkey’s top flight. Football is a strange game—a young man from South Africa can, somehow, travel halfway around the world and end up with his fortunes intertwined with a small team far away from his home, becoming a hero in the process. Gencay Keskin says it well when describing why he would don a black and green number ten Kocaelispor shirt and yell Moshoeu’s name, running through a football match under the summer sun:

 

“Çocukken futbolcular tam anlamıyla birer kahramandır. Formalarını giymek istersin, saçlarını onlar gibi tararsın, uğruna bir sevdaya tutunursun. İşte benim hikayemin kahramanı ‘Moşe’.”

“When you’re a kid footballers are most certainly heroes. You want to wear their jerseys, comb your hair like theirs; for them you hold on to a passion. This is the hero of my story, ‘Moşe’ [The Turkish transliteration of Moshoeu].”

 

Former Turkish international footballer Saffet Sancakli, Moshoeu’s teammate at both Kocaelispor and Fenerbahce, also shared his memories with hayatimfutbol.com:

 

“İnsan öldükten sonra hep iyi şeyler söylenir ya, onun için söylemiyorum; çok kaliteli bir arkadaştı. Kimseyle problem yaşamazdı. Gergin bir ortam oluştuğu zaman hemen yumuşatırdı ortamı. Çok pozitif bir enerjisi vardı. O kadar mütevaziydi ki medyadan kaçardı, öyle çok konuşmazdı. Sevdiğimiz, saydığımız bir kardeşimizdi.”

“After someone dies good things are always said, that’s not why I’m saying it; he was a very quality friend. He didn’t have problems with anyone. If things got tense he would immediately diffuse the situation. He had a lot of positive energy. He was so humble that he ran away from the media, he didn’t talk a lot. He was a brother we loved and respected.”

 

I send my condolences to the South African football community and the Turkish football community. We have lost a legend–both on and off the field–in John “Shoes” Moshoeu. Toprağın bol olsun mekanın cennet olsun Moşe…

 

In memory of John Lesiba Moshoeu: 18 December 1965-21 April 2015.

 

 

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Image Courtesy of: http://hayatimfutbol.com/korfeze-yanasan-sevda/);

 

 

John Moshoeu of South Africa

Image Courtesy of: http://www.goal.com/en-za/slideshow/3992/10/title/south-africas-10-greatest-footballers-of-all-time

 

 

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Modern Football and Modern Life: In Memory of Eduardo Galeano, 1940-2015

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On April 13 Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano passed away at the age of 74 in Montevideo. Many articles following his death characterized him variously as a “leading voice of the Latin American left”, a “modern-day Simon Bolivar”, a “critic of capitalism”, and a “U.S. Critic”. Personally, I prefer to look past such politically-tinged descriptions and look at Eduardo Galeano for what he was—and still is—to me: A writer with an amazing ability to look at the seemingly mundane—football for instance—and uncover the subtle details that make it special from a humanistic point of view. While some may not know much about Mr. Galeano and his works (evidently the New York Times didn’t—their obituary reported erroneously on his familial situation and gave a passing sentence to his work on football), it was refreshing to see other outlets focus on the sporting side of the author. Al Jazeera America announced “the beautiful game loses its man of letters” while SB Nation chose to run a review of his classic work on football, Soccer in Sun and Shadow.

Soccer in Sun and Shadow, originally published in 1995 before undergoing reprints to cover the World Cups up to 2010, has been called the greatest book about football ever written. Certainly, when it comes to readability and prose, it is brilliant—and I think one would be hard pressed to find a football fan able to resist turning the pages in order to hear the stories told. It is not written in chapter form, and that is what makes it so readable. As Andi Thomas of SB Nation describes:

 

“Not a chapterette — the book is shattered into more than 150 mini-chapters, the longest amounting to a few pages, the shortest no more than a couple of paragraphs — goes past without some line provoking a nod or a smile. And laced throughout, almost there in passing, are sketches of football’s great players, taken out of the broader sweep of events and given their own spotlights…. Not all are memorable, perhaps not all are necessary, but it all amounts up to something unique, righteous and quite beautiful: history by turn as jumbled memory, as fractured story, as furious broadside, as hazy dream, and occasionally even as joke.”

 

This description is apt, since every small installment describes something the reader can relate to; Galeano tells not only the story of a sport’s development but, simultaneously, the story that is 20th century history. We see how football—initially accepted as a form of leisure for working classes during the post industrial revolution period—undergoes a transformation from a fringe curiosity, into an ethnic identity builder, into a show of state power, and finally into a multi-million dollar business that uncovers all the positive and negative qualities of humanity including passion, love, and perseverance on the one hand and corruption, hate, and exploitation on the other. It is in this sense that Soccer in Sun and Shadow truly becomes a classic: using sport as a lens through which to view society and its values as they evolve throughout the years, affected by the changes wrought upon them by competing political—and economic—systems.

In one of the opening “chapterettes”, entitled simply “Soccer” Galeano effectively presents what could be termed his thesis:

 

“The history of soccer is a sad voyage from beauty to duty. When the sport became an industry, the beauty that blossoms from the joy of play got torn out by its very roots. In this fin de siècle world, professional soccer condemns all that is useless, and useless means not profitable. Nobody earns a thing from that crazy feeling that for a moment turns a man into a child playing with a balloon like a cat with a ball of yarn, a ballet dancer who romps with a ball as light as a balloon or a ball of yarn, playing without even knowing he’s playing, with no purpose or clock or referee. Play has become spectacle, with few protagonists and many spectators, soccer for watching. And that spectacle has become one of the most profitable businesses in the world, organized not for play but rather to impede it. The technocracy of professional sport has managed to impose a soccer of lightning speed and brute strength, a soccer that negates joy, kills fantasy and outlaws daring” (Galeano, Soccer In Sun and Shadow, 6).

 

He shows how football has become just another business; the division between leisure and work no longer exists—it has become combined. Recently, in professional hockey, this type of business-like attitude brought on by the advent of statistical analyses—focusing on results (and winning) as the bottom line—has led to one classic type of player (the “enforcer”, in this case) becoming obsolete. In many ways, the football of old has also become obsolete. Numerous vignettes focus on players who are sort of “neighborhood boys”, playing for the fun of it. He describes members of the Uruguay squad that won the 1924 Olympics as “workers and wanderers who got nothing from soccer but the pleasure of playing. Pedro Arispe was a meatpacker. José Nasazzi cut marble. “Perucho” Petrone was a grocer. Pedro Cea sold ice. José Leandro Andrade was a carnival musician and bootblack . . . They cured their wounds with salt water, vinegar plasters, and a few glasses of wine” (Galeano, Soccer In Sun and Shadow, 45). Legendary Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin, who saved over one hundred penalty shots in his career, explains the secret to his goalkeeping exploits: “the trick was to have a smoke to calm your nerves, then toss back a strong drink to tone your muscles” (Galeano, Soccer In Sun and Shadow, 117). Indeed, the players of old are a cry from the professionals of today.

In an evocative passage about stadiums Galeano also briefly hits on football in the Gulf, long before the idea of a Qatari World Cup was hatched:

“Have you ever entered an empty stadium? Try it. Stand in the middle of the field and listen. There is nothing less empty than an empty stadium. There is nothing less mute than stands bereft of spectators. At Wembley shouts from the 1966 World Cup, which England won, still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953, when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan soccer. Maracanã is still crying over Brazil’s 1950 World Cup defeat. At Bombonera in Buenos Aires, drums boom from half a century ago. From the depths of Azteca Stadium, you can hear the ceremonial chants of the ancient Mexican ball game. The concrete terraces of Camp Nou in Barcelona speak Catalan, and the stands of San Mamés in Bilbao talk in Basque. In Milan, the ghost of Giuseppe Meazza scores goals that shake the stadium bearing his name. The final match of the 1974 World Cup, won by Germany, is played day after day and night after night at Munich’s Olympic Stadium. King Fahd Stadium in Saudi Arabia has marble and gold boxes and carpeted stands, but it has no memory or much of anything to say” (Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, 21).

As a fan that has made it a point to visit as many stadiums as possible, this passage rings true. In the modern game more and more old stadiums are being demolished to make way for new ones so that higher ticket prices may be justified. In so doing the romanticism of the old stadiums is lost in the sands of time, replacing memories with creature comforts (What would a modern stadium be without Wi-Fi, for instance?). By the time Qatar’s World Cup rolls around the King Fahd Stadium will be considered an antique.

 

Later on, as the book goes in chronological order from the game’s humble beginnings in squalid slums and working class neighborhoods around the world to the shiny mass-market game played in gigantic stadiums and beamed via satellite around the world world, Galeano shows the progression. In the 1950’s Uruguay’s Peñarol became the first team to wear sponsor on their shirts—it could be seen as the beginnings of what Galeano terms “The Telecracy”, a game increasingly reliant on sponsors so as to attract consumers.

In between we learn how dictators on both sides of the ocean used football. In 1970 Brazil’s dictator General Médici used the national football team’s march “Forward Brazil” as the government’s anthem while Pele’s image was used for government propaganda with the words “No one can stop Brazil”; Chile’s General Pinochet made himself president of the successful club Colo-Colo and Bolivia’s General García Meza named himself president of the popular club Wilstermann. In Spain, during the reign of General Franco, Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabéu simply stated “We are serving the nation. What we want is to make people happy.” Vincente Calderon, president of rivals Atletico Madrid, seemed to agree: “Soccer keeps people from thinking about more dangerous things.” Galeano notes that these leaders were effectively saying, “Soccer is the fatherland, soccer is power: ‘I am the fatherland’; Soccer is the people, soccer is power: ‘I am the people’ (Galeano, Soccer In Sun and Shadow, 137).

 

The book ends with an important note, one very relevant to the increasingly homogenized world we are living in:

 

“An astonishing void: official history ignores soccer. Contemporary history texts fail to mention it, even in passing, in countries where soccer has been and continues to be a primordial symbol of collective identity. I play therefore I am: a style of play is a way of being that reveals the unique profile of each community and affirms its right to be different. Tell me how you play and I’ll tell you who you are. For many years soccer has been played in different styles, unique expressions of the personality of each people, and the preservation of that diversity seems to me more necessary today than ever before” (Galeano, Soccer In Sun and Shadow, 200).

 

Indeed the preservation of diversity has become paramount in a world where previously unique human interactions are increasingly homogenized, taking place via electronic means with friendships on Facebook and relationships on Ok Cupid or Tinder. But the onset of modern football (a byproduct, perhaps, of modern life) is still not without its critics; it is in Eduardo Galeano’s writing that we can find one of the first criticisms of the phenomenon and that is why his legacy will live on for a long time to come.

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Two Posts From Ultra Style’s Facebook Page bemoan the advent of “Modern Football” or “Industrial Football”. The first criticizes the lack of fan passion in modern football, the second–taken from a Atletico Bilbao-Schalke 04 match in the 2012 Europa League–shows a banner unfurled by Schalke Fans protesting high ticket prices. It reads: “€90 per ticket = one euro per minute? Football is not phone sex!”

 

For an example of his foresight, take for instance one of the new chapters added into the end of the book, referencing the 1998 World Cup. Galeano states soccer’s importance to South America:

“Whether a shared celebration or a shipwreck that takes us all down, soccer counts in Latin America, sometimes more than anything else, even if the ideologues who love humanity but can’t stand people don’t realize it” (Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, 203).

With the political roles that football fans played recently in both Egypt and Turkey in mind, I would add to this prescient passage: Soccer counts all over the world…even if the ideologues (and ideologies) who love humanity but can’t stand people don’t realize it…

 

In Memory of Eduardo Galeano: September 3 1940 – 13 April 2015 . . . and Beyond

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Image Courtesy Of: http://www.anarkismo.net/article/28087

April Fool’s Day Recap in Football: Both the Intended and Unintended

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April Fool’s Day was a few weeks ago and, while I don’t participate in it (something about deliberately fooling people for no particular reason makes me uncomfortable), it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. The holiday has a gotten more attention in recent years throughout the football world, with Bleacher Report even compiling the tops for 2015! This year Orlando FC’s April Fool’s day gimmick was amazing—although a part of me wishes they had stuck with the idea of a purple pitch. The Columbus Crew’s Usain Bolt prank, however, fell short in my opinion—it simply didn’t make sense! Still, respect to MLS for keeping the game fun.

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Purple Haze? We can dream, can’t we? Image Courtesy of: http://www.orlandocitysc.com/post/2015/04/01/orlando-citrus-bowl-installs-purple-pitch-ahead-friday’s-matchup-vs-dc-united

 

A few days before April 1, however, there were two incidents that were worthy of April Fool’s Day Jokes…but they were all too real. The first happened in Washington D.C. on March 30, 2015. Everyone knows Americans aren’t huge football fans, but—I would assume—they should know the difference between El Salvador and the Isle of Man. Sadly, the employees at FedEx field did not and the speakers belted out the Isle of Man’s anthem Arrane Ashoonagh Vannin in place of El Salvador’s Himno Nacional. In an amusing youtube clip we can see El Salvador’s national football team looking around in bewilderment. Their shock didn’t wear off in time for the match; they were beaten soundly by a Messi-less (but still merciless) Argentina side 2-0. The error then sparked an international political incident between El Salvador and the United States….no, I’m kidding–I said I don’t do April Fool’s Day…

I Fail To See the Similarity:

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Images Courtesy Of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_El_Salvador and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man, respectively.

 

The second incident comes from Colombia. Journalist—and avid football fan—Alejandra Omaña promised the local men’s magazine SoHo that she would bare all if her team, Cúcuta Deportivo, gained promotion to the country’s top flight. Unfortunately for her—but possibly fortunately for male readers of SoHo—Cúcuta played Deportes Quindío on January 20, 2015 and was promoted after a 3-3 draw.

Football fans can empathize with her reasoning behind the stunt, which melds love of a team with love of a place, in the text that accompanies the pictures: “I wasn’t born into a footballing family,” she wrote. “My father enjoyed bullfights and cycling more, and my brother had musical passions—so I discovered in other Cucuteños, in the environment, in street corners and in neighborhood stores, my passion for Cúcuta Deportivo.”

What is more shocking is that this isn’t the first time such a thing has happened. The famous French-Italian actress Sophia Loren made a promise to Gazetta dello Sport in 2007—when she was 72 years young—that she would “do a striptease” if her team Napoli gained promotion from Serie B to Serie A. Football fans will know that Napoli went up, but what most may not know is that Ms. Loren backed off her promise. As she said, it was “only a joke”. I say here’s to jokes and good clean fun! Happy April!

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Forza Napoli, Apparently. Image Courtesy Of: https://iheartingrid.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/sophia-loren-dangerous-curves/

Attack on Fenerbahçe’s Team Bus Raises Many Questions: What is Happening in Turkey?

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On the night of Saturday April 4, 2015, the bus carrying Turkey’s Fenerbahçe football team fell under attack on the way back from a convincing 5-1 victory over Rizespor. Subsequent reports said that the attack involved stones and—interestingly—two shots from a hunting rifle, according to Abdulcelil Öz, the governor of Trabzon. This attack, which occurred on the Sürmene-Araklı highway between Rize and Trabzon, is unprecedented in Turkish football history. The side window of the bus was shattered while the front window was damaged in five spots. The driver, Ufuk Kıran, was seriously injured by a gunshot wound to the face and is currently in stable condition. Now, the obvious question is why did such an attack happen? In Turkey it is relatively common for team busses to be attacked with stones by rival supporters, but such a confirmed and violent armed attack has—to my recollection—never happened. To dig deeper into this tragic event it is worth looking into the past week in Turkey that has been uncharacteristically violent.

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Images Courtesy Of: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/32187388

 

On Tuesday the week started with a massive blackout that plunged most of the country into darkness. Officially, the blame was put on two plants in Izmir and Adana that severed Turkey’s connection with the European power grid. The same day, prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz who was investigating police in connection to the death of 15 year-old Berkin Elvan last March was taken hostage in an Istanbul court and shot by members of The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Police also killed the hostage takers belonging to the Marxist organization when they stormed the office. The next day, April 1 2015, police shot a woman carrying guns and hand grenades when she tried to attack Istanbul’s police headquarters in the Istanbul district of Aksaray. On the same day an armed man was detained by police after breaking in to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) office building on Istanbul’s Asian side in the Kartal district and hanging a Turkish flag with a sword on it from the window.

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Image Courtesy Of: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/armed-man-detained-after-breaking-into-akp-building-in-istanbul.aspx?PageID=238&NID=80440&NewsCatID=341

 

Interestingly, before the woman’s attack in Aksaray, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned of the risk of “provocations” saying “We are aware that we face an axis of evil and there is an attempt to instigate an atmosphere of chaos ahead of the election.” While the rhetoric of an “Axis of Evil” is similar to that of former U.S. President George Bush, Mr. Davutoğlu was not so kind as to enlighten us as to who (or what) exactly this “axis” consists of. In the void, many Turks on social media chose to make their own interpretations. An entry on popular online forum Ekşi Sözlük—the Sour Times—had this to say on the DHKP-C:

yılda bir iki defa adlarını duyarsınız. iktidarın en sıkıştığı dönem ortaya çıkarlar ve ortaya çıktıklarında sebep oldukları tek şey chp ve solcu partileri halkın gözünde sıfırlayıp iktidarı halkın gözünde yükseltmek.

You’ll hear their name once or twice a year. They’ll appear at a time that the administration [ruling party, read: AKP] are most in trouble and the only reason they’ve appeared is to discredit the CHP [Main opposition party] and other leftist parties in the eyes of the public and raise the stature of the administration [ruling party] in the eyes of the public.

 

While I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories this interpretation doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me—especially in light of current events. Why would this leftist group take hostage a prosecutor investigating the role of police in Berkin Elvan’s death? To me, this simply does not make sense—and it wouldn’t, at least in the immediate term—seem to serve the DHKP-C’s interests either. So are they just a government scapegoat, involved in false-flag operations in order to provide an excuse for further government crackdowns?

On Monday, April 6 2015 we may have come closer to an answer. Social media sites in Turkey—including Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook—were blocked. Even search engine Google was part of the ban according to Al-Jazeera. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin gave the reason for the ban in comments cited by Reuters, saying that “some media organisations had acted ‘as if they were spreading terrorist propaganda’ in sharing the images of the hostage-taking.” This is, of course, not the first time social media has been banned in Turkey. It happened last March in the run up to local elections. This time a similar ban was necessitated not by elections but because of last week’s events. But even this may not be unrelated to elections.

 

Ex Fenerbahçe star and popular Turkish football pundit Rıdvan Dilmen made comments on his program “Yüzde Yüz Futbol” (One Hundred Percent Football) on NTV Sports that resonated throughout Turkey:

. . . Bu ciddi bir problem. Son 7 günü bir düşünelim neler olduğunu; çok uzağa gitmeyelim. Elektrik kesintisi, Emniyet Müdürlüğü’ne saldırı, rahmetli olan savcının durumu, dünkü olay… Sonra yargılamalarda mesela; Çarşı Grubu’nun yargılanması var…

Bu bir sportif olay değil, bunun kupayla bilmem neyle de ilgisi yok. Bu 3 Temmuz sürecinden önce de Fenerbahçe-Trabzon maçları gergin geçerdi. Benim dönemimde de gergin geçerdi.

Ben açıkçası bu yaza kadar, seçime kadar böyle şeylerin olabileceğini düşünüyorum. Çünkü yaşananlar bunu gösteriyor…

…This is a serious problem. Let’s think in the last seven days what all has happened; let’s not go too far back. The blackout, the attack on Police headquarters, the deceased prosecutor, yesterday’s events [the attack on Fenerbahçe’s bus]…Then the trials for instance, there is the trial of the Çarşı Group…

 This is not a sporting incident, this has nothing to do with the cup or I don’t know what else. Before the events of 3 July [The matchfixing scandal that targeted Fenerbahçe in 2011 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Turkish_sports_corruption_scandal)] Fenerbahçe -Trabzon matches were tense. They were tense in my time [as a player] too. Honestly I think that until this summer, until the election, things like this might happen. Because what has happened shows this…

 

It is important to note that Mr. Dilmen is right. Matches between Fenerbahçe -Trabzonspor have always been tense, and fans of Trabzonspor were known in the 1990s to fire guns into the air in celebration. A Turkish language football blog, Dobrayorum, put together a small history of violent episodes during and following Fenerbahçe Trabzonspor matches. There are examples from the 1974-75 season, 1978-79 season, and even a similar bus attack (one player claimed a gun was used then as well) from the 1984-85 season. But those events were all, seemingly, standard football hooliganism; they all happened after Fenerbahçe either won (1974-75) or tied with a late goal (1978-79 and 1984-85) at Trabzonspor’s famously intimidating stadium. The events of Saturday night did not happen after a hotly contested Fenerbahçe-Trabzonspor derby (Look to 2010 for an example), instead they happened after a comfortable Fenerbahçe victory against Trabzonspor’s local rivals Rizespor. It doesn’t add up.

ScreenHunter_29 May. 11 22.49 14_Nisan_1985_Trabzonspor_Fenerbah_e_ma_ 17_Eyl_l_1978_Trabzonspor_Fenerbah_e_ma_

The first two images are from 4 April 1985 (Suspiciously coincidentally, exactly 30 years to the date of Saturday night’s attack), the second image is from 17 September 1978. Images Courtesy Of: http://dobrayorum.blogspot.com/2012/05/biraz-geciklemli-de-olsa-bu-satrlarn.html

 

Is the government looking to create an atmosphere of chaos ahead of the June elections, in a bid to show that only a continuation of the ruling AKP party can provide security and stability in the country? In some people’s minds, this is exactly what is happening. Keep in mind the newly passed security laws in Turkey (for a detailed outline of the new internal security package please see Al-Monitor) that have been widely criticized as draconian and anti-European. It is clear that the government is prepared to go to any length to prevent a repeat of the June 2013 Gezi protests.

 

Meanwhile, there will be no football this week in Turkey. Following the attack Fenerbahçe called for the league to be suspended but initially Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk told reporters that there was no need to stop football in the country. On Monday, April 6 2015, the Turkish Football Federation announced a one-week suspension of all league and cup matches in Turkey.

Something is amiss in Turkey and it seems even sport is not immune from it. I hope that someone finds an answer to the problem before it is too late. The country has become polarized to an alarming degree, and this sickening attack is no exception. Following the Gezi protests football fans were united, it even sparked a documentary. Now, some fans of Fenerbahçe’s rivals have distastefully taken to social media to voice their support of the attack by noting all the past violent incidents involving Fenerbahçe and their fans. Perhaps the government was alarmed at the brewing solidarity among football fans in support of Beşiktaş’s Çarşı group, and the bond the Ultras made with their society, and wanted to end the nascent unity. Or maybe it was provincial football fans committing an (albeit advanced) act of hooliganism. Or maybe it is just a couple deranged maniacs who decided to organize this despicable attack on their own. In my mind—and, it seems, also in the mind of Mr. Dilmen—the facts just don’t add up in support of the latter two possibilities and produce a clear picture of what happened yet.