I was away for this and so have cut and pasted an article written by Ozgur Korkmaz, a Gencler fan who is the sports editor of the Hurriyet Daily News and who went to the match along with a few other Gencler fans to show their solidarity. Sounds like great fun. This is just an excerpt, for the whole piece - click here
Adana Demirspor, a team in Turkey’s third division, hosted Italian Serie A club A.S. Livorno Calcio on Friday night. A lower-division team playing at home against an Italian club was a story in itself, but what happened from there was beyond the imagination of even the most optimistic true football enthusiasts in this country.
Photograph from AA
Spectators entering Adana’s 5 Ocak Stadium were welcomed by “Bella Ciao” on the loudspeakers, a song sung by the leftist anti-fascist resistance movement in Italy. A huge banner hanging on the fences surrounding the pitch read “Hasta Siempre,” or “Always,” around an image of legendary Cuban revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Another banner bore a picture of Turkish poet and communist Nazım Hikmet along with his famous verse, “To live! Like a tree, alone and free; like a forest in brotherhood.” People waved red flags, some with the photo of Deniz Gezmiş, a prominent Marxist-Leninist activist and one of the founders of the Turkish revolutionary movement of the late 1960s. Gezmiş was hanged in 1972.
For a match in Turkey, the atmosphere was absurd. But it was no coincidence. The teams on the pitch were Livorno Calcio, world-renown for its supporters’ firm communist stance, and Adana Demirspor, founded by railway workers in the city and the closest thing Turkish football has to a workers’ team.