You may have read that I almost went to Manisa to watch Genclerbirligi's away match. In the end I had to work and lucky for that as the Alkaralar bus got stuck and had to return. Pretty annoying for most, but especially for one fellow who flew from Istanbul to Ankara in order to join the fun.
And that fellow was none other than a bloke who occasionally leaves comments on this blog (but he assures me he is a regular reader), Turkish Daily News Sports Editor Ozgur Korkmaz.
In today's TDN Ozgur gives an excellent "first person" account of the fateful trip to ... er, nowhere. An excerpt:
"We were only around 100 kilometers away from Ankara when the weather conditions got worse. We had a stopover in a gas station, drank tea, and decided to continue the trip."
"It was all joy and entertainment for another two hours, and none of us sitting at the back of the bus realized the tough conditions of the road, unlike the older ones sitting in front. That is why we were all surprised when the bus stopped at another gas station at around 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning. We all got out of the bus, some to smoke (yes, no one was allowed to smoke on the bus, another big surprise for traveling Turkish football fans), some to use the restrooms, and found out about the real reason of the stop: The driver refused to go any further."
"'I have a wife and children back at home,' said the semi-bald driver in his mid-40s. 'The road conditions are getting worse, I cannot rely on my bus on such an icy road, I will not risk my or your life.' It was only when the driver mentioned how we paid attention to the bus. The old, loud bus with flat tires had done a very good job just to get us that far."
Sorry about that Ozgur, but as you point out in your article, at least we got the win. And don't forget mate, next time you are in Ankara you should give us a shout.
Oh, and by the way, great to see that at least one sports editor in this country supports a non-Istanbul team.