Monday, July 31, 2006

Calling all Ankara Kankas

Dear Kankas, we need your help. Apparently there was an article in Sunday's Ankara section of Sabah newspaper about us.

We wonder what it may be like as it is entitled "Ingilizler Gecekondu'da". Considering that out of the eight people who came to Friday night's match only one of us was English we are slightly scarded what the rest may say. Unfortunately because it is in the Ankara section it isn't on the internet.

So basically we need a copy of this article. My bet is that No Match Kanka, French Kanka Hande or Spine must have a copy of the paper around somewhere. If you do please hold onto it. And I'll translate it and get it out onto the blog next week when I'm back in town.

Alpay would be proud

I'm sure most of you remember the handbags in Istanbul last year when the Turkish team attacked the Swiss players after the World Cup play-off qualifier that resulted in Turkey not fielding a team in the World Cup.

It appears that the North Korean women's team have also seen tapes of the match and repeated the performance during a semi-final of the Women's Asia Cup being played in Adelaide. You can check out the performance in this video.

Not only is the incident and karate kick great stuff but so is the Japanese show from where it is taken.

I'm off for a holiday for a week or so and as I doubt broadband exists in the Black Sea region I don't think I'll be posting for a week. See you all soon.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Greetings Kankas. Some of the kankas are well named (eg Smart Ass Kanka) and others perhaps not (Virgin Match Kankie) !!

I believe we have mis-named Brummie Kankie, who I think deserves better. So, as senior (in years !!) kanka, I am proposing a name change for Brummie Kankie, and for all those who have met her over the past few days, I'm sure you will agree with me.

Amelia, you will now be known as...........


Also, we hope to receive some blog comments from you in the future and perhaps even a report about Birmingham Shitty........ oooops...... I mean...... City !!

Welcome to the Round Ball in Ankara and to our Kanka fraternity.

All the best from (well named) Eski Kanka Jim

Human needs

Sometimes it is just all too much and the need for a beer is an order one cannot resist from a flagging body. Thus it was at the end of the Ankaragucu-Sekerspor match.

The idea of hanging around and watching more pre-season dross was just too bad to imagine and so we legged it back to Kizilay.

It was another good crowd on Saturday with diehards like Sir Eski Kanka, Kirkcaldy Kanka, Trainspotting Kanka, Brummy Kanka, Battle-hardened Kanka all up for it and then an archaeologist by the name of Christoff joined us for the pre-match drinks and then Ankaragucu-Sekerspor.

There were even less people at the match than on Friday night and clearly the players on both sides weren't going to be bothered to play decent football if the fans couldn't be bothered to show up.

Let's just say that Ankaragucu won it and are now officially the third best team in Ankara.

It was at this stage that the important decision had to be made. Stay and watch more dross or go to the pub. No question really and we headed off to Desti Bar where we watched a little bit of the match, until Maniac Kanka Harun stuffed up the telly and the only station we could get was Eurosport which was showing the Spain versus Scotland U19s European championship final.

Finally got TRT back in time for the Genclerbirligi-Ankaraspor penalty shootout and like Friday night our goalkeeper was in good form. I'm not even sure of what the score was but in the end we won it. The Gencler players danced up and down after receiving the trophy and no doubt they would have done a lap of honour if anyone was at the actual stadium.

In the end, who cares. It's all pre-season rubbish.

But it was with huge sadness that we said goodbye to Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn and Mrs. Kirkcaldy Kanka Sinead who leave Turkey later this week. But they promise to be back and all Ankara football fans are counting on you to keep that promise.


Greetings Kankas. An inept performance from ANKARAGUCU on Friday night saw them lose to Ankaraspor 0-1 after an early dubious `offside` goal from Jaba. All the players (including the Referees !!!), except Jaba, were still in the process of waking-up when he raced on to a through ball about 5 yards offside (no exaggeration) and scored a diabolical goal.

It was all uphill for ANKARAGUCU from there with no real threat posed to the impressive Ankaraspor defence. Most of the danger came from free kicks outside the penalty area which were taken by the normally reliable Cehun. However, our dead-ball `expert` only threatened once when the ball sailed inches over.

Actually the most interesting point to note from the match was that the ANKARAGUCU players showed as much respect for the sparrows eating area on the right wing as the Gencler players did in the 1st match !!!

It should also be noted that 4,324 migrating swallows flew over the match during the 2nd half which brought some `oooozzzzz and ahhhhhhssss` from the crowd. Trainspotting Kanka Andrew counted 4,629, but as we all know, he tends to exaggerate and he should stick to taking train numbers !!!

Back to the boring footie, and there was a small crumb of comfort for ANKARAGUCU when they won the 3rd place play-off on Saturday 2-0 against Sekerspor. Watched incidentally by the smallest crowd I have ever seen at an ANKARAGUCU match. The supporters were obviously making a protest. However, that may well be another story for a future blog.

Our most impressive player, Carreno (from Argentina ?) scored a fine individual goal in the 1st half and then set-up a headed goal by Birol in the 2nd half with an astute cross into the penalty area.

Our coach will no doubt have noted the contribution made by Carreno (sadly missing in the 1st match) and will hopefully put him into the midfield area with Ceyhun and our Croatian player Srebrenko for our 1st league match against Bursa next week ??!!

Srebrenko had a fairly good match on Friday and came on as a late substitute on Saturday. I think he showed enough class to be a key figure in the team this season.

The problem remains.............. who is going to score the goals ???!!!

We shall see.

In the meantime, we bid farewell to Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn and his beautiful wife Sinead who are leaving us for Ingallind. The singing and shouting in Maraton will never be the same without their fanatical support. Let's hope that Battle Hardened Kanka Damon can continue where they left off ??!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, July 28, 2006

Politics on a football blog?

As has been clear in the last six months since this blog has started we try and keep politics out of it (besides taking the piss out of Melih Gokcek, the mayor of Ankara and the man who closed down our pub).

In fact if politics ever did raise its ugly head on the blog I'm not sure how Sir Eski Kanka Jim and myself would be able to talk to each other. As my wife said to me once "the only thing you have in common with Sir Eski Kanka is football". I replied that most marriages are based on less.

So it is with that introduction that I ask for your forgiveness for introducing politics to the blog. The following passage is nicked straight from the Guardian's daily football e-mail.

"When Liverpool were paired with Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in the draw for Big Cup's third qualifying round this morning, there were predictable security concerns. Faced with a trip to a hostile war-zone echoing with gunshots and littered with burnt-out cars, you could understand why Maccabi Haifa's players might have been nervous."

Anyway, good luck to Kirkcaldy Kanka who is off to live in the sunny climes of Liverpool sometime next week.

Sparrows and football

It's still July and already we are off to the footy. Today, it was Genclerbirligi versus Sekerspor for the right to play in the final of the TSYD Ankara Cup. I managed to convince the nanny to look after Little Oz Kanka and so headed down to the Chopin where I expected to meet Sir Eski Kanka.

What a lovely surprise to see that not only was Sir Eski Kanka enjoying the amber fluid but so was Paddy Kanka Paul, Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn, Battle-hardened Kanka Damon, Finlandia Kanka Markus and Trainspotting Kanka Andrew. Maniac Kanka Harun wasn't there but I have to send out a big thank you to Harun as he passed on to me a very fetching Gencler top which I shall cherish. Harun has a shop where he sells Ankaragucu and Gencler shirts, scarves, underwear etc etc. Go and buy something from him people!

I was on my second beer when Brummy Kanka Amelia showed up in order to attend not only her first football match in Turkey but her first football match anywhere.

Brummy Kanka got just a little bit scared when we told her about Battle-hardened Kanka's introduction to football at the Battle of Kayseri, but being a brave Gencler supporter that she still came along to the match.

Beers in, and it was off to the stadium where the match was delayed for a few minutes by the freaks who play for the Turkish basketball side who decided to show up for no known reason. Unfortunately I wasn't able to ask any of them why don't they reduce basketball games to 10 minutes as the score always seem to be equal with 10 minutes to go.

Once the 12 Dev adam were kicked out we finally got underway. Well... the ref blew his whistle to start play but I'm not sure any of the players heard it. Lets just say that the most memorable part of the first 15 minutes was a bunch of sparrows who almost got killed when Gencler made a rare break down the right.

Sir Eski Kanka was calling for a card for the Gencler players on the grounds of inhumane treatment of annoying little birds. This was just the start of Sir Eski Kanka proving that he may have reached the age in which he ought to book himself into an old people's home, or else I should get some ear plugs so I don't have to listen to his inane utterings.

I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with a BBC television show called "The Office". In the final episode of season one, a certain David Brent is being interviewed for a local business magazine. In response to every question Brent would answer something like: "Brent knows the value of cooperation", or "Brent considers teamwork to be the key".

Just change that to Sir Eski Kanka and you get the idea.

"Oz Kanka!", Sir Eski Kanka would shout, "Sir Eski Kanka says the Sekerspor goalkeeper should stop sending the ball down the other end. Put that in the blog". Yeah yeah yeah. You and your damn birds.

Of course, my paying out on Sir Eski Kanka is merely a clever way to stop me from paying out on the quality of football. This was clearly pre-season stuff. Sergen Yalcin for Sekerspor may be reknowned for being lazy and unfit but surely even he could have got back onside on a few occasions.

On the positive side I thought Haminu Draman (or perhaps his last name is Dramani - check out the Wikipedia entry on the Ghanian international) played well for what in the end was a meaningless match despite Sir Eski Kanka saying: "Sir Eski Kanka says that of course this is a serious tournament."

Our defence was okay, Frederik Risp played well as usual but there were clearly some lapses, especially on corner kicks. Our goalkeeper Gokhan also need to calm down a bit but he did make a couple of important saves.

In particular though we still haven't seemed to shrug off the problems we had last year, ie everyone likes to make little passes in and around the box but no-one seems to have the guts to have a go at goal.

So the match ended up 0-0. No extra time and straight to penalties.

Gokhan saves the first. Yesssss
We score. cool
Sekerspor player sends it over the post. hahahahaha
Gencler player scores and we win it 4-3 on penalties.

Onto tomorrow evening when Genclerbirligi will take on either Ankaragucu or Ankaraspor, a game which is being played even as I write this report. Sir Eski is still at the stadium watching the match and I think I can just hear him now.

"Sir Eski Kanka says get on side you idiots."

So for Saturday afternoon we shall be meeting down at the Chopin Pub once again from about 3 pm onwards. Come and join us.

By the way, I took a couple of photos at the Chopin Bar before the match but left the camera at the pub so that the Turkish police couldn't confiscate the ballistic missiles that most of us call batteries. I'll be collecting the camera tomorrow and will then upload a shot or two.

EDIT: Ankaragucu lost their match 1-0. A report from Jim will hopefully be coming soon.

PHOTOCAPTION: At the Chopin before the match. From left to right Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn, Trainspotting Kanka Andrew and Brummy Kanka Amelia.

A couple of other photos can be found here.

Besiktas accused this time

The scandal news moves on today to Besiktas who are accused by Milliyet newspaper of throwing a match in the 2003-04 season that resulted in Rizespor avoiding relegation.

Milliyet doesn't give any figures but does print telephone transcripts between various figures.

Last week of the season and Rizespor are playing Besiktas. Only a win would save them from being relegated.

Some of the telephone conversations:

Vedat Peker (Rizespor football manager at the time) - "Now we have to give bonuses to everyone."

Mr. X: "We'll send it."

Peker: "Send the bonuses to Bursaspor, Besiktas." (I assume the "bonuses" would have to be sent to Bursa as they would be relegated if Denizli won)

On the day of the match Vedat Peker rings up Besiktas midfielder Sergen Yalcin.

Peker: "Your not going to play (well) today. Thought I'd tell you the news."

Sergen: "Okay, don't worry big brother."

Rizespor go on to win the match 1-0 thanks to what Milliyet describes as an "interesting" penalty. Serdar Topraktepe for Besiktas also missed a sitter. Mmmmmm

Then we have a lovely conversation after the match between Yasar Durmusoglu, a businessman close to the Peker brothers, and a fellow named only as Hakan.

Durmusoglu: "Unbelievable stress. They didn't play, they didn't go for goal! The referee gave a penalty and saved us. If it wasn't for the boss the team would be relegated."

The "boss" in this case is Sedat Peker, a man with quite a record when it comes to match fixing.

Dear oh dear... I hope I can write about football later today. Having said that Sergen Yalcin is playing for Sekerspor tonight against Gencler.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Scandals roll on

Scandals aplenty nowadays in Turkish football what with investigations launched into Denizlispor and now Ankaragucu are facing some pretty serious allegations.

Afraid this is a few days out of date due to my concentrating on other scandals but as I doubt there are any other English-language websites out there with the news... better late than never. By the way, thanks Spine for pointing this story out to me.

Ibrahim Seten from Vatan newspaper has splashed in the last few days allegations by the former chairman of Samsunspor that Ankaragucu offered to "sell" a game.

For some stupid reason I can't find the actual Vatan article but it has been reprinted on a number of Turkish websites such as here and here.

The gist of it is that Mehmet Kemal Unsal, a member of the Turkish Football Federation Board, told the then chairman of Samsunspor, Adnan Olmez, that Ankaragucu were prepared to throw a match in return for a whole lot of money.

It was four weeks until the end of the season and Ankaragucu were safe from relegation and Samsunspor were facing the drop and needed points badly.

The deal on offer, according to Olmez, was that Samsunspor would pay 250 billion as that is the bonus payments Ankaragucu gives its players for a win, 200 billion which would be distributed amongst four Ankaragucu players, 235 billion to compensate for what the Football Federation awards a team for a win, and 30 billion for the referee. All up 715 billion lira, or around 500,000 U.S. dollars.

Olmez's response was that if he had that sort of money spare his team wouldn't be facing relegation. He refused but Samsunspor still won it 2-1. It wasn't enough for Samsunspor, however, and they were indeed relegated at the end of the season.

Now the offer was made by Unsal, a member of the TFF board but who had been closely involved with Ankaragucu before being elected to the board. Also present at the meeting, according to Olmez was the former head of the Central Referees Committee.

So far all very fishy.

Ankaragucu Chairman Cemal Aydin has come out furiously denying the allegations saying he will take Olmez to court.

Aydin is most probably telling the truth. The allegations are made against Unsal making the offer, not Aydin.

Which leaves us with Mr. Unsal himself. All I will say is that I agree with a headline in today's Hurriyet newspaper. "Mehmet Kemal Unsal: Speak"

So far, not a word from Unsal, nor from his boss TFF President Haluk Ulusoy.

In the end though I can't see Ankaragucu getting found guilty of anything. Unlike in the Denizlispor case there is no hard evidence, just allegations made by the former chairman of a team which was relegated.

TSYD Cup kicks off on Friday

Tomorrow the TSYD Ankara Cup kicks off. For those who have no idea what this is it is basically a traditonal pre-season warm up competition for Ankara teams.

This year we have Ankaragucu, Genclerbirligi, Ankaraspor and second-division Sekerspor all vying for the prestigious title of Ankara's best.

So the plans are as follows.
3 p.m.: Meet at Chopin
5:30ish: head for stadium
6 p.m.: Gencler versus Sekerspor
8:30 p.m.: Ankaragucu versus Ankaraspor

As Mrs. Oz Kanka is away down in Mersin rescueing Australians feeling from Lebanon (you can see what she is doing at a blog by an Aussie mate of mine in Mersin) I'm not sure if I can make it to both matches. Sir Eski Kanka Jim is definately going though.

Actually, I might be able to make the first match. Perhaps it is time to introduce Little Oz Kanka to Ankara football.

Tickets are 5 million for all male adults. Children and women are free.

EDIT: Thursday afternoon. I guess the Aussies are actually "fleeing" from Beirut, not "feeling"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another Fenerbahce stack

Turks are damn good when it comes to internet voting. For some reason they will drop everything to ensure that whoever they support will win internet polls. This was seen of course in the campaign to get Ataturk named man of the century, scientist of the century, musician of the century etc etc a few years ago in a Time magazine poll.

Then in the last few weeks we have seen a concerted effort to get Miss Turkey to win the online version of Miss Universe (she duly won the internet version but not the actual thing). This particular campaign seemed to have been set up by a fellow called Metin. Check out his efforts here.

Allthis is a long way of introducing the results of last week's poll.

Who do you want to win the League?
Galatasaray 4 votes
Fenerbahce 23 votes
Besiktas 1 vote
Anyone but the above 11 votes

Clearly the poll has been hijacked. I would have blamed Metin but he is a Galatasaray supporter. Therefore I blame Murat who clearly has too much time on his hands at the moment after having a rather unfortunate run-in with a car.

Probably it has been lucky that Gulay has been on holidays and thus unable to organise a pro-Galatasaray stack.

With all the scandal news at the moment I thought I'd ask the readers this week:

If proven should Denizlispor be relegated?

You can check out the actual scandal report here

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Greetings Kankas. With ANKARAGUCU and Genclerbirligi winging their way back to Turkey after their pre-season friendlies in Austria and Holland respectively, time to give a round-up of the results, especially for those of you without access to the Ankara press.


Lost to Tirol 0-1
Drew with Jablonec 1-1
Beat Slavia Prague 2-0
Drew with Poznan 1-1
Lost to Werder Bremen 0-2
Drew with Partizan Belgrade 0-0


Drew with Bursa 1-1
Beat Vaassen 7-0
Beat De Graafschaap 4-1
Lost to Vitesse 0-2
Beat Dusseldorf 1-0
Drew with Heerenveen 2-2

Not a bad set of statistics for Gencler, but............. you don't have to be a mathematical genius to see that in 6 matches ANKARAGUCU could only muster a miserable 4 goals. Only 3 days left to rectify that situation !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hibees Crash: Out of Europe

Hibs dropped out of the Intertoto cup on away goals after failing to keep a clean sheet against a well organised Odense. Losing a goal early in the second half meant Hibs had to score three goals to get through to the UEFA cup qualifying round.

A brave effort saw Hibs score two but the elusive third goal would not come. Odense moved the ball about very well and the off the ball movement of their players was excellent however they did not look very dangerous in the final third. To be fair their goal was well worked and well taken.

Hibs had the better chances throughout the game but after striker Killen went off injured to be replaced by Paul Dalgleish (Son of Kenny), we did begin to look a bit disjointed. Hibs also had Fletcher away with the Scotland Under 19's, Scott Brown out through suspension and Beuzalin injured. Just shows how bare the squad is just now after also losing three key players in the summer.

Even with these players unavailable Hibs will be kicking themselves for not taking any of three good chances in the first half. The second half became a bit of a slog as Odense tried to protect their aggregate advantage and Hibs abandoned their normal passing game for a more direct route.

Rob Jones, Hibs new centre half who looked good all day, converted to a centre forward as Hibs threw everything at the Danes. One of the few good points out of this game was that the Hibs defence looked a lot stronger in the air now that Caldwell has been replaced, I doubt Jones will have the same passing ability but as Hibs lost so many goals from set pieces last season I think a player like Jones is what the doctor ordered.

The general feeling from the Hibs support is slight depression that we cannot even reach the qualifying round of the UEFA cup while our neighbours are still aiming for the Champions League. Maybe after the League programme starts on Saturday we will all feel a bit better. Hope to be able to report a better result this coming weekend.

No political interference in Turkish football

Well our Fenerbahce-supporting prime minister has decided to do his bit for world peace in the last few days by banning a friendly match between the only mixed Arab-Jewish team in Israel and our very own Ankaraspor.

Mr. Erdogan is always going on about the great help that Turkey and Turkish firms can give to the bringing together of people in that rather volatile region and so a Turkish construction firm, Yilmazlar Insaat, decided to do its bit and bring Abu Gosh-Mevaseret to Ankara for a friendly match that was to have been played on Wednesday (July 26).

According to a report by the Turkish news agency ANKA, all was set up for the match until 10:20 p.m. Sunday night when the chairman of Yilmazlar Insaat, Ahmet Reyiz Yilmaz, was phoned by Ankaraspor Honourary Chairman Melih Gokcek (the man who ordered the destruction of this blog's favourite pre-match pub) telling him the match was off.

Yilmaz says that Gokcek had been summoned by PM Erdogan who told him to cancel the match, proving once again that there is no political influence in Turkish football.

While ANKA doesn't actually quote Yilmaz, they almost do, so I'm taking the liberty to turn the statements made into quotes.

"The Abu Gosh-Mevaseret team play in red and white and on the team's jersey they have a crescent and star," Yilmaz pretty much said. "At a time in the Middel East when blood and tears dominate I cannot understand why this friendly match was cancelled."

Yilmaz said that the cancellation came just before the Arab-Jewish team was due to fly to Ankara and that the team is in shock.

The Ankara Municipal Council have denied the claims, denying that Gokcek and Erdogan had not discussed the matter ANKA reported.

All in all a great shame. As Yilmaz says, at a time of great suffering in the Middle East this could have been a great example that people can live together, even enjoy themselves together.

EDIT (Monday night) Just read a statement from Ankaraspor Chairman Hilmi Gokcinar that Ankaraspor pulled out because they have a very heavy schedule. Ahhhhh That must be it then.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Scandal hits Turkish football - surprise surprise

In my last post on the poll of 5,000 Turkish football supporters there was one question where I was surprised at the findings. The question was "Is there corruption in Turkish football?"

A total of 67.3 percent of respondents said "yes". I thought this figure was on the low side but I'm sure that if the same question was asked again today the figure would be closer to 100 percent thanks to a great expose by Hurriyet newspaper in the past few days.

A brief run down.

It's the last week of last season. Denizlispor needed Malatyaspor to lose in order to avoid relegation. Malatya duly lost.

What Hurriyet is reporting is that a Turkish businessman in Prague, Ozcan Kore, was contacted by Denizlispor chairman Ali Ipek just before that match and got him to offer three Czech footballers who play for Malatyaspor 100,000 euros each if they put in a sub-standard performance. Apparently, they did.

This would probably have been the end of the matter as I can't recall any outcry at the time. With the Turkish press concentrating so much on who would win the league I guess nobody noticed a few foreigners playing poorly. After all, it happens week-in, week-out. Although I do notice now reading through the reports again that the Malatyaspor chairman actually asked the Turkish Football Federation to look into the matter but has so far received no answer.

The problem seems to be that Ipek never sent the money to Kore. Clearly showing he has never watched the Sopranos or at least that he hasn't learnt anything from any organised crime film, Kore then put his complaints in writing and faxed Ipek asking where the money was. He needed it quickly because the Czech mob were after him for not paying the players, Kore complained.

Somehow or other, Hurriyet got a hold of this fax and we now have one hell of a corruption scandal.

Prosecutors in Denizli have opened an investigation and the sports minister, Mehmet Ali Sahin, has been laying into the complaints and investigation process in Turkey. Surely the answer is for the sports minister to actually change the law to make it easier to investigate such matters, but that is perhaps too simple a solution.

By the way, the TFF website doesn't mention the scandal.

After what happened in the Italian league with teams being demoted etc etc I wouldn't put much money on Denizlispor staying in the top flight for long at all.

Not that Hurriyet readers think so. In a poll on their website 75.2 percent of people don't believe Turkey would be able to hold an "Italian-style operation". Lets hope they are wrong.

The really funny thing about all this though is that in the end Denizlispor didn't have to rely on Malatyaspor losing to avoid relegation. They guaranteed staying up by beating Fenerbahce in the final match of the season that gave the title to Galatasaray. Fools.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Greetings Kankas from a disappointed and tearful Eski Kanka.

News is just in from Edinburgh that HIBERNIAN beat Odense 2-1 in the Inter Toto Cup 3rd Round 2nd Leg, but Odense win on the away goals rule.

I am still in shock and have gone through 2 packets of Selpak Mendil already so I can't bring myself to comment on the match or all the hard luck stories and near misses.

I am hoping Hibbie Kanka in Edinburgh will fill us in with the details and give us an assessment of the match.

In the meantime I am going to bed to cry myself to sleep .... boo hoo hoo !!!

All the best from distraught Eski Kanka Jim

A slightly more informative poll

Friday's Hurriyet ran a full page article on a poll taken across 20 provinces in Turkey looking at football supporters, an article which Spine has commented on in a previous post. I thought I might do a little translation for you all.

Unfortunately the poll only looked at supoorters of the big four clubs and therefore is clearly and obviously flawed. But anyway:

Spine has already pointed out that Besiktas has the highest percentage of female supporters with 28.02 percent of fans of the black and whites being of the fairer sex.

There was no mention of what sort of supporters they are and therefore we can definately claim that Genclerbirligi and Ankaragucu have the best-looking female supporters thanks to French Kanka Hande, Zagreb Kanka and Match Virgin Kanka Suzan on the Gencler side and Clueless Kanka Vicki, Mrs. Kirkcaldy Kanka Sinaed (no picture damn it) and Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Suzan all on Ankaragucu's side.

This was going to be an excuse to link to Gulay's photograph (she of Gulay, Galatasaray and the Dogs) but she has changed her profile picture and so I can't praise Galatasaray fans. Lucky that really, wouldn't want to change a lifetime's habit.

Some of the other stats.

Percentage of fans who have university degrees.
Besiktas: 28.02 (a number that is suspiciously similiar to the number of female fans they have)
Fenerbahce: 25.49
Galatasaray: 24.2
Trabzonspor: 12.81

How people came to support their team:
The team is successful: 39 percent
Family influence: 19.91
Friend's influence: 13.43
The colours are, like, so nice: 1 percent.

Again the survey has clearly failed as surely some people support their team because it is their home team, their city, the local side, although Sir Eski did choose Ankaragucu because he had some money on how many goals Zalad would let in during one particular match.

Percentage of supporters who earn more than 1,500 lira (US $971) a month:
Fenerbahce: 25.71
Besiktas: 22.99
Galatasaray 22.02
Trabzonspor: 12.81 (another figure suspiciously similiar to university qualifications)

I think I should make this one next week's blog poll question. Either the salary question or the next question.

Percentage of supporters whose sex life is affected by football results:
Doesn't affect: 75.06
Sometimes affects: 10.1
Always affects: 3.19

Doesn't quite add up to 100 percent that one. I guess the rest don't have sex or were so outraged at being asked by a complete stranger such a personal question that the surveyer was headbutted, Zidane-style, before being able to fill in the survey form.

And finally,
Is there corruption in Turkish football?
Yes: 67.38 percent
No: 23.48 percent

No arguements from me on the results of that last question. I'm just surprised the "Yes" vote wasn't higher.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Greetings Kankas. For those of you who didn't watch the match tonight the score was -

ANKARAGUCU 0 Werder Bremen 2

The first surprise I had tonight was that the match was played in what was obviously a Sports Complex somewhere in Austria. In view of the fact that Euro Sport was covering the match I was under the impression that it would be played in a recognised footie Stadium.

The second surprise was that it pissed down with rain pre-match, during the first half and at half time, making the first half a bit of a lottery.

The third surprise was that ANKARAGUCU played the match without names on their shirts, thereby giving the impression that they came from another planet (very unprofessional) and this didn't help the commentators in their commentary.

The fourth surprise is that we lost........ only joking !!!

Before I leave the subject of the commentators, let me just say ....... give me the BBC anytime (even if their license fee is extortionate !!). The 2 commentators didn't do their homework on the ANKARAGUCU players and very rarely mentioned their names. Very unprofessional I thought ! Also, they kept going on about Chelsea all the way through the match !!! OK, Chelsea are a famous team, but ...... what the f*** have they got to do with a match being played in Austria between a Turkish team and a German team ??!!

Anyway, back to the match, and in all fairness to Bremen they took control of the match from the outset and never looked in any danger of losing it. They were fitter than our boys (hope the Coach reads this blog !), their passing was accurate, and they didn't play too many high balls out of defence.

Here we go again I thought........... too many high balls again. Yes, Oz Kanka, I think we need to interview the Coach and `advise` him about the ANKARAGUCU malaise.

Bremen scored on the stroke of half time just as I was about to retreat to the fridge to open another EFES and celebrate reaching half time at 0-0 !!

Into the 2nd half and it was all Bremen. I think it was around the 70th minute when ANKARAGUCU had their first and only real attempt at goal ! The fitness levels were beginning to tell now and the 2nd well deserved goal came near the end.

OK, so, not very positive reading for ANKARAGUCU fans, but we have to bear in mind that we were playing a high class team who finished 3rd in the Bundeslig last season. They also left their 2 leading strikers out tonight !!

Taking positives from tonight....... it is always good experience for players to play against the top flight teams and I'm sure they, and the coach, will have learned something.

Man of the Match was definitely the ANKARAGUCU goalkeeper Orkun who was his normal outstanding self. I only recognised a few of the others players..... Ceyhun, Sedat, and Ayhan. Let the others prove themeselves over the next season !!

Let battle commence next week at the Sportswriters Cup !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas. Just a `heads-up` that ANKARAGUCU will be live on Eurosport tonight (21 July) against Werder Bremen. KO 7pm.

This will be a good chance to gauge ANKARAGUCU's credentials for the coming season against one of the class team's of Europe.

Our new coach, Vlado Bozinoski, has decided to play a 4-2-3-1 system which is probably correct in view of the strength of the opposition.

It is also satisfying to see an ANKARA team on Euro TV instead of Istan...spit..bul teams hogging the limelight !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why wasn't I surprised

An overwhelming 65 percent of readers of the blog (ie 11 people) thought the World Cup was decidely "average". That's how I voted despite seeing my own team in action for the first time in my life.

I guess the four people who voted that the World Cup was rubbish were probably either Scottish or English while who knows where the two people who thought the tournament was great are from. I didn't know Turkish mental institutes had internet access.

But as Sir Eski Kanka said in a comment or post somewhere earlier it is definately time to get over the World Cup and onto other football issues.

With the Super Lig starting up in just a few weeks:

Who do you want to win the League?

A) Galatasaray
B) Fenerbahce
C) Besiktas
D) Anyone but the above

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Greetings Kankas and stop press news just in of an upcoming VIP visitor.

You will all be pleased to hear that Paddy Kanka (Paul from Cork) is making a pilgrimage to Ankara to support ANKARAGUCU in the Sportswriters Cup.

His VIP aircraft arrives on 25 July and after he has met the President and the Prime Minister (but not Melih Gokcek !!!) he will stay in the VIP suite in my house !

I have arranged for him to wear an ANKARAGUCU top (apologies to the Gencler fraternity !!) and he will be available for you to meet and greet in the VIP Section of Chopin Bar at 3pm on 28 July.

Hope Miss Kirkaldy Kankie (also from Cork) can be on hand to act as an interpreter (Paul hasn't lost his Cork accent yet, despite living in Edinburgh for a few years - shame on him for that !!).

Look forward to a big turn-out for our VIP visitor on this auspicious occasion !

All the best from snivvling and crawling Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 17, 2006


Greetings Kankas. News from ANKARAGUCU's camp in Austria.

Jablonec 1 ANKARAGUCU 1

Bozinoski stated in Hurriyet this morning that the results of the pre-season `friendlies` were not so important as getting to know his players and trying out new ideas.

He has also decided to play 3 strikers up front in the next match instead of 2. In my opinion, this will be welcome after watching `The Lone Ranger` (Umut Bulut) all last season up front on his own chasing hopeful long balls humped out of defence which bypassed the midfield.

As I have mentioned before in a previous blog, and a quote from the late great Jock Stein of Hibernian, Celtic and Scotland...........

`The best form of defence is ATTACK` !!!

Let's see the result of this on Wednesday against Poznan and the following matches.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Promise not amongst the goals

"Preparing in Holland for the new season Genclerbirligi beat the second league team De Graaphschap 4-1. Goals for the black and reds came from Mehmet Cakir, Engin, Abwo and Ali Cansun.

Isaac (Promise) and Nicoise didn't score.

I'm starting to get scared!"

I actually took this very short report from a fellow called Erkan Saglam on a Gencler fansite and would like to point out that therefore I'm not the only person in this world who is not 100 percent convinced that we should be sticking to Promise up front.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Greetings Kankas. News just in from Denmark on the Inter Toto Cup 3rd Round 1st Leg...........

Odense 1 HIBERNIAN 0

Odense scored a penalty midway through the 1st half, and despite constant pressure from Hibs for the remainder of the match, they couldn't find a way past the Odense goalkeeper who was on top form. A surprise really because those Viking Danes are not renowed for their defensive qualities...... only their attacking, eg, invading, raping and pillaging !!!

Anyway, I'm sure that Hibs will be in confident mood next Saturday to finish the business in Edinburgh and qualify for the UEFA Cup. After all, as pioneers of Scottish AND British Footie (mentioned in another blog !!) we have a God given right to be in YooRo Footie !!! Watch this space for further.........

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We blame the divers

I'm not really surprised at the results of this week's poll asking for people's reactions to the performance of referees this tournament.

How would you rate the refereeing at the World cup, we asked.

A) They have been crap. 2 votes
B) They have been okay. 4 votes
C) Certain players are
to blame for diving
all the time................... 10 votes

There was a nice discussion in the coments section about this question with Spine Kanka Steve arguing that there should have been a d) None of the above because it it is all the fault of Sepp Blatter option. There wasn't of course and so I'm very glad that certain divers got the vote here.

Onto this week's poll:

This World Cup was...

A) Great
B) Rubbish
C) Average

Get to it


Greetings Kankas. I am getting a little pissed off with World Cup Footie (probably sour grapes because Scotland were not there I can hear you say !!!).

So, some news of upcoming Ankara footie `friendlies` involving ANKARAGUCU and Genclerbirligi on tour in Europe.


Today - Tirol (Austria)
15 Jul - FC Jablonec (Chek Republic)
17 Jul - Slavia Prague
19 Jul - Leh Poznan (Poland)
21 Jul - Werder Bremen
23 Jul - Partizan Belgrade


15 Jul - Grapsal (Holland Div 2)
18 Jul - Levski Sofia
20 Jul - Beveren (Belgium)
22 Jul - Heerenven (Holland)
25 Jul - NAC Breda (Holland)

Oz Kanka and I will try to keep you up to date on results as we get them.

After these intensive `friendly` matches there can be no excuses for not being ready for League footie to commence after the Sportswriters Cup matches !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The best of moments of the World Cup

The World Cup is over but the world is still abuzz as to what exactly did Matterazzi say to Zidane. Still not clear so instead time to do one of those cliched best of/worst of lists. I'll try and keep my own prejudices out of it. Yeah right.

Best Match: Portugal versus Holland. This match was truely amazing. Great diving, great simulation, 16 yellows and four reds. Just an amazing spectacle really. Note that the heading of this was "best match", not "best football".

Worst Match: Anything involving England. Apparently Ukraine-Switzerland was extremely boring but I didn't see it thanks to being too depressed at the time.

Best Fans: England deserve a pat on the back for pretty much breaking all the stereotypes and also for completely making a mockery of Fifa's ticketing rules.

Best Diver: The easiest of all the all the awards... Mr. C. Ronaldo of Portugal.

Unforgettable moment: Mr. Zidane's attempt to give Matterazzi a Glasgow kiss. He missed.

Best Referee: I could have killed him at the time for missing two clear penalties but in the end just for the comedy value it has to be Mr. Graeme Poll for his handing out three yellow cards to the same player in the Croatia-Australia match.

My Fave Moment: Kewell scoring the equaliser against Croatia which put Australia through to the next round (Poll didn't notice that Kewell was offside).

The Kick in the Guts Moment: Grosso diving in the box. Penalty. Italy score. Australia go home. Italy go on to win the World Cup.

Any more suggestions for "best of" moments?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zidane should have put the boot in

My heart wanted France, my head said Italy... and in the end my head got it right.

As usual we were down at the Red Lion Club for the match. All the usual Kankas made it, myself, Sir Eski kanka, Smart Arse Yankee kanka Dave, Mrs. Smart Arse Yankee kanka Suzanne and we had the pleasure of welcoming back to Ankara Spine Kanka Steve (formally Istanbul Kanka) and his wonderful friend French Kanka Hande (who for work reasons was actually supporting Italy).

The final was one hell of a match. The French prooved they can dive with the best and at the same time went all out for the win.

The second half especially should have seen a French goal but by God the Italian defence was good. For a match that showed brilliance from both sides there were very little shots on goal.

But then came the defining moment.

The ball was in midfield when the referee blew his whistle for something off the ball.

The replay showed that Materazzi slightly held on to Zidane but at the same time gave Zidane something that the ITV commentators described as a "nipple tweak".

Zidane seemed to ignore it for a few seconds and then came back and headbutted Materazzi in the chest. After what seemed an enternity Zidane was finally given a red card, and rightly so.

I have no idea whether Zidane was justified in retaliating for the nipple tweak, a move which has its place in the bedroom but one which I'm yet to experience of the football field.

A moment of insanity from Zidane? Possibly. But only because the fellow was in his last ever football match. Instead of headbutting Matterazzi he should have king hit him and then put the boot in when the bloke was on the ground. Italy had no more substitutes left, Zidane was going to get sent off anyway and so why not take the fellow out of the game as well.

The match of course went to penalties and despite the fact that the vast majority of the Red Lion Club were supporting France, French Kanka Hande gave a little cheer each time the Italians scored.

I was still hopeful until the last penalty kick. Italy needed to score to win the Cup. And then my nightmares came back to haunt me.

Grosso, yes Grosso. The bastard who fell over in the box over Lucas Neill to earn Italy the penalty kick that saw them go past Australia was going to take the last penalty kick.

I cursed and cursed, and yes Grosso scored and thus we have the Italians wearing their World Cup medals tonight.

I just hope they saviour the moment before heading back home and playing in Serie C.

PHOTOCAPTION: Career over Mr. Zidane. (photo nicked from the SMH)

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Greetings Kankas, and news just in from Latvia (my homing pigeon just arrived back in my loft a few minutes ago !!!) .........

Dinaburg Daugavpils 0

Aggregate Score 0 - 8

I am reliably informed by my trusty pigeon that the game was played at a slow pace and Hibs were never in danger of conceding a goal.

Into Round 3 now and a two leg match against either Odense or Shelbourne.


All the best from a happy Eski Kanka Jim (and of course, his favourite pigeon !!)

Friday, July 07, 2006

New Ankaragucu coach

Well Ankaragucu have decided not to sign Littbarski as coach and instead gone for former Socceroos Australia defender Vlado Bozinoski.

Bozinoski was born in Macedonia, left for Melbourne as a kiddie and later on in his career played for Ankaragucu for a while.

I have no idea what the fellow is like but can only wish him luck.

Another Aussie in Ankara. Excellent! We are slowly but surely taking over this place.

Sir Eski Kanka, shall we try and interview this bloke?

Away for the start of the season

The draw is out for the Super Lig and the good news is that Genclerbirligi are away for the first match of the season. This is good news because I will also be away. The first matches to be played on August 5,6,7 are:

Sivasspor - Gençlerbirliği
Bursaspor - Ankaragücü

Don't care about the rest.

For the second week we have:

Gencler - Fenerbahce
Ankaragucu - Ankaraspor

Viking Kanka and myself already have our Gencler season tickets but Ankaragucu have yet to put theirs on sale yet.

Tomorrow we have the meaningless 3rd V 4th World Cup match but then on Sunday its final time. I'm off to the Red Lion Club to watch it and I'm sure one or two others will be also.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Greetings Kankas. Discouraging news in Hurriyet this morning.

With only 3 weeks before The Sportswriters Cup matches, Ankaragucu don't have any strikers in their squad ! Oh yes, and it would also be a good idea to have a coach installed BEFORE the season begins !!!

Umut has been transferred to Trabzon, Balic says he is not returning and Ahmet Belal wants more money !! It always comes down to money doesn't it ??!! Isn't that why we lost Ersun Yanal to our neighbours a few years ago ?!

Far be it for me to tell Cemal Aydin how to run the club, but I return to my article in the Sabah last month when I called for him to show more ambition in trying to keep his key players and bring in quality players. I have constantly stated the fact that if Trabzon can win the league then surely it is not beyond the realms of reason to expect an Ankara team to win the league ??!!

I am not saying that it time to `hit the panic button` yet...........but...... I am just hoping that Mr Cemal Aydin has a few tricks up his sleeve before we have to face another `backs against the wall` season !!!

All the best from a Hopeful Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Aussies, Ghana and Spain voted best of the rest

Split three ways are the readers of the blog this week with only three teams (out of eight choices) deemed to have been worthy enough to be called the best of those who were sent packing in the last 16 round.

The question was: Which was the best team that was sent packing in the knockout round?

And the results:
Australia: 6
Spain: 5
Ghana: 6
The rest: 0

Somehow I think the recent extreme pro-Australia bias of the blog has something to do with the results. But who cares.

Now onto the next poll and what has been one of the most controversial aspects of the tournament so far... the refereeing.

This week's question.

How would you rate the refereeing at the World Cup?
A: They have been crap
B: They have been okay
C: Certain players are to blame for diving all the time

Get voting!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Greetings Kankas. The exploits and pioneering spirit of Hibernian Football Club since 1875 have been well documented elsewhere AND on this Blog. With no Ankara footie at the moment, and with the World Cup almost decided (France will win it !!!), it is opportune to mention another `Hibernian First`. Perhaps this will provoke other `blasts from the past` from our bloggers ??!!

The year was 1972 in the era of the Hibernian Manager Eddie Turnbull who was a Hibs legend in his playing days (another story perhaps ?!). The Hibs team at this time were a sight to behold in the true Hibs style of the past, ie, attack and be damned !!

Eddie Turnbull had taken over after the sudden departure of the Great Jock Stein to Celtic and he transformed the Hibs team into his own attacking mould. He introduced a player into the Hibs team who would become a Hibs legend and prove to be `world class` in todays terminology.

The player was ALEX EDWARDS who still holds the distiction of being the 2nd youngest ever to turn out in a senior Scottish league game. Alex was only 16 when he played for Dunfermline against Valencia in the old Fairs Cup in 1962 which Dunfermline won 6-2.

Eddie Turnbull brought Alex Edwards to Hibs in 1971 and formed a right wing triangle with the captain, Pat Stanton, and John Brownlie (both Scottish Internationals).

Having beaten Rangers in the 1972 League Cup Semi Final, it was into the final to play `favourites` Celtic (Kenny Dalgleish et al).

Alex Edwards and Pat Stanton pulled all the strings and Hibs were victorious, the 2-1 scoreline actually being more comfortable than it looks. It was Alex Edwards who floated in a sublime free kick for Pat Stanton to fire home, and again the pair combined when Alex Edwards found Pat Stanton, this time on the right wing, splitting the Celtic defence in the process. Jimmy O'Rourke completing a memorable day for the Hibees by heading home Pat Stanton's cross at the near post as the Celtic defenders carefully watched the Hibs striker, Alan Gordon, at the back post.

The Hibs were at last able to board the open topped bus for a parade along Princes Street and Easter Road in Edinburgh to celebrate their first Scottish League Cup success.

The was a golden era in the history of Hibernian FC and Alex Edwards is not the only player remembered with pride. The whole 1972 squad became famously known as `TURNBULL'S TORNADOES`.

PS...... This is a true story - I was there in October 1972 at Hampden Stadium to see it !!!

All the best from `history teacher` Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Just a few games left

England are gone: No surprises there. Brazil out: They never really caught on fire this tournament. Argentina bow out: The coach to blame here for silly substitutions. Ukraine go home: Lucky to be in the quarters in the first place.

It was a punishing weekend for watching football and the barman at the Red Lion Club must be getting sick of me. But thanks to the Red Lion Club I get to hear BBC or ITV commentary. One of the classics I heard during the Germany-Argentina match was "What Argentina have to do here is attack with the ball". Can't argue with that.

Having had my heart wrenched out and stamped on earlier in the week, it was the turn of all the English down at the club on Saturday evening. The Portuguese played their normal game of diving and acting while England again looked boring.

It was only after Beckham went off and Rooney was sent off did I think England played any decent footie. Of course it went down to penalties and, of course, England stuffed them up.

There were a few blokes at the club who were inconsolable, and quite possible ropeable as well. For an team that went into the tournament with high hopes of winning the cup, England played like rubbish.

After the match it was down to Kizilay to celebrate Battle-Hardened Kanka Damon's last few nights of freedom. Sir Eski Kanka and Genc Kanka Eddie certainly enjoyed the belly dancer but in some ways watching Brazil go down to France was even more fun.

What better way to spend an evening. Beer, football, belly dancer, more football and more beer. Shame England couldn't lift themselves though.


Greetings Kankas. Stop press news........ just off the ticker tape........ I bet you have all been holding your breath (not too long I hope !!) for tonight's result from Edinburgh. Well you can now relax and sleep in peace tonight.........

MIGHTY HIBERNIAN 5 (this is not a misprint.... it is FIVE)
Dinaburg Daugavpils 0

Yessssssssssssssssssssssss !!!

Well, excuse me if I am excited, but at least it is some good news coming out of Great Britain after last night's excruciating performance by Ingallind !!!

Unfortunately Odense beat Shelbourne 3-0 in Denmark tonight (excuse me for the bias Jens Kanka !!) in the other Inter Toto match, which means that Jens will not be speaking to me for a long time (?) when the Mighty Hibernian get them in the next round and do more of the same !!! Bring on those Vikings yessssssssssss !!!!

All the best from ecstatic and up in the air Eski Kanka Jim