When I think of the highs of writing for this blog I think of meeting up with the Bilkent Kankas, having Zagreb Kanka join us, teasing Sir Eski Kanka is always fun and of course I enjoy the riches that is the almost 100 dollars we have made out of advertising.
I have to admit though that it truely was a great ego boost when a few weeks ago a message was left on the comments section of one of our posts asking if we would be interested in helping out a UK television company in wanting to make a show about Turkish fans.
Let me repeat the original message:
"I am currently researching for a television prodcution company in the Uk. We are researching a programme concerning Turkish football. All of you here seem to be an ideal bridge for us to get a feel for everything. Would you like to help? I don't know how we can exchange email addresses. Mine is ****@****.uk.com please email me if you would like to help"
Having been guilty of it a million times in the past I ignored the spelling error in the first sentence and was instead caught by the hook... "an ideal bridge", that's us clearly. "Would we like to help?" You bet.
Since then myself and Sir Eski Kanka have been involved in more than 30 e-mails pinging back and forward between Turkey and England
I was extremely excited. Sure, getting a link from Gulay or Ahmet is great but this was over the top.
But then we started to get our suspicions:
"We are making a programme which is going to focus on the fan culture in Turkey. Obviously a large part of the programme will focus on Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas, but we are also looking to go to a different city as well, which led us to Ankara as Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi seem to have good fan bases. We are going to look at a broad spectrum of different supporter levels. The extreme elements will play a key role too. English speakers would be best as the programme is going to be shown over here. We want to get a real feel of the culture, which fans are the most extreme, which the best etc."
Extreme? Mmmm. What are they playing at?
Our e-mail conversations continued and it was at this point that I noticed a large number of search enquiries from Google from a single service provider in the UK. The search enquiries were such things as "genclerbirligi hooliganism" or "ankaragucu street fighting" and variations on the theme. As the only English-language blog writing about such things it was little wonder they found us. Not surprising really as a search for "looking for boyfriend Ankara" will also find us near the top of the google charts.
We decided to let it go on anyway and last Sunday, before the Ankaragucu-Rize match we finally met up with these people who had flown in from the UK. Carl, the producer, and Rana, a researcher, were lovely people. They both seemed to have really enjoyed their few days here in Turkey and understood that this was a very safe country.
The only hassle was that they continually asked about all the violent incidents that we have encountered as Ankara football fans. We, of course, explained that it is more dangerous going out anywhere in London on a Saturday night than it is to go to a football match in Ankara but still they persisted.
The two of them had to go off to the airport and thus couldn't actually come to the match to see what it is really like but they did leave behind a couple of DVDs of their company's previous work.
"The Real Football Factories" is their franchise and lets just say that it does not put football fans in a nice light. You can check out one of their shows here
Trainspotting Kanka had already warned me not to have anything to do with this lot, and having seen the DVDs and the website above I can't agree more.
In other words, if you are contacted by ZigZag productions in the next few days or weeks, steer well clear. Their aim is to paint us Gencler and Ankaragucu fans with mud.
I've also posted this advice on various Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi forums.
Having said all that, their "The Real Football Factories: Scotland" does have some interesting Hibs stuff :) But by God where on earth did they they find that presenter