Sunday, April 20, 2014

So long Cebeci and thanks for all the goals

An absolutely beautiful day on Sunday in Ankara and with the wife out of town we decided, bugger it, lets go and watch a football match. Genclerbirligi played yesterday so we headed off to see Ankara Demirspor, the capital's railways' team versus Yesil Bursa AŞ at Cebeci Inonu Stadium. 
I'm not sure these Ottoman-era houses have
actually been "restored", more like "rebuilt".
But still, this street was certainly lively on

Ankara Demirspor 0 - 1 Yeşil Bursa 

I don't have any particular love for Ankara Demirspor. Before the match I had no idea of their colours or what league they played in - it is the Spor Toto Lig. 3rd Division No. 1 Group ie a long way down the leagues. But it seems that the Cebeci Inonu Stadium right in the heart of Ankara is going to be demolished at the end of the season to make way for ... another bloody AVM.

Ankaragucu played their first-ever match in Ankara in 1922 at the place where the Cebeci Stadium is today. The stadium as it is was built in 1967 and has a capacity for 37,000 people; admittedly most of those people would have to stand.     

Post-lunch cuppa.
The location of the stadium is wonderful. Many tourists actually think it must be the capital's main stadium because it's wonderful curvy lines are easily seen from the Kale. 

It is such as shame that yet another sporting space is going to handed over to TOKI. Yet more history thrown out the window. Yet more money for developers. 

I have only been to the Cebeci Stadium once but I thought I ought to check it out one last time before they demolish the place. Little Oz Kanka had never been so it then became my fatherly duty to go today. 

We got a bit lost on our way to the stadium but it didn't matter as I had factored in that we needed lunch first. It seemed as if we had hit pay dirt when we found a street of "restored" Ottoman houses all advertising breakfast at midday for 10 lira. 

I didn't see any art. It was nice though.
Of course, it was all Turkish breakfasts and not a rasher of bacon to be had anywhere. 

In the end we found a nice kebab place and gorged ourselves. 

It was all a bit of an adventure for us as we normally never go to the Cebeci area. It was very nice though but the "restored" houses were just a bit too much restored.

In many ways the real beauties can be found in the back streets and these back street places certainly need restoring, proper restoring.

I just hope they aren't simply torn down and replicas put in their place. 

This is a clock tower from ancient
Angora- built circa 2008.
We had been informed that the match kicked off at 1:30 pm and so we showed up with about two minutes to spare and got our 3TL paper tickets. 

Went straight to the gate and was told we would have to wait for security to show up. 

"But the match starts in two minutes," I told the friendly fellow.

"It starts in an hour," he said laughing at the silly foreigner.

Oh well, time to do more exploring. 

The Cebeci Inonu Stadium entrance.
Purposely left to rot.
An hour to spare and what better thing to do then to check out the Ulucanlar Prison. I'm not going to give a run down of the prison museum. Just to advise you not to visit on a Sunday.

This is possibly one of the most thought provoking museums in Turkey and the crowds of people trying to get a photo of themselves smiling next to the gallows on which people like Deniz Gezmis were hanged is well... not so nice. Then there were others (adults, not children) who heard me explaining some stuff in English to Little Oz Kanka and then said out loud; "Onlarin burada ne işi var". Then there was just the depressing comments being made by parents to their children.

"Why were they here," asked a child about the prisoners (who include Bulent Ecevit, Nazim Hikmet, Bulent Tanik, etc etc.)

"Because this was a place for traitors and they all deserved it," said the father. For him, this was a fun park.            
But do visit though. It is an important part of our history. Just don't do it on a Sunday. 

So finally we got into the stadium just after the national anthem and watched some footy. 

It wasn't the best in the world but there was plenty of attacking and plenty of shots. I didn't really care but Yesil Bursa went ahead in the second half and despite some wonderful chances Ankara Demirspor couldn't equalise.

All in all it was great to get out, to watch some footy without the stress of actually supporting one of the teams, to explore a different part of Ankara and to say farewell to a stadium that could have been great. All they had to do was to "restore" it.
The ticket booth,

The ticket,

The field,

The gawkers, 
The fans,

The end.


  1. Bloody hell Oz, that's gotta go down as the best footie match report on the Blog ! Please please please put it in the 'Best of the Blog' section. Effin epic match !!! btw, nice photies !!!

  2. I agree with you Jim the write up, photos and history lesson superb.

  3. Love the gawkers !

  4. Anonymous1:19 am

    Great report Oz. Sad to see that piece of football history go, and wonder why they need another AVM. Gotta go and see the prison museum now, too...

    Cider Kanka

  5. I enjoyed the article - especially the challenge of looking up the Turkish phrases (I got AVM, by the way, which I was pleased to do), and locating the landmarks on Google Maps. I guess your day would be roughly equivalent to going to Henson Park to watch Newtown vs Wentworthville in the Jim Beam Cup, with a trip to Long Bay thrown in for good measure.

  6. Anonymous2:09 am

    Sorry for the wrong info about the kick-off time :)

  7. I agree. A great report of a father and a son bonding over a football match. Enjoyed reading it and loved the pictures! Not enjoying the coming of yet another AVM :(

  8. great report Chris

    I always think the Cebeci would be great to play in with a full stadium of Ankaragucu fans. The noise would be mental

  9. You can't beat a decent AVM. Not many about nowadays though.

    Great write up, I'll investigate the museum on my next visit to Ankara.

    Bye the way, what is an AVM?

  10. Hey Burra, what d'ya mean .... 'not many about nowadays' ?

    There are 9,999 Big Shopping Malls in Ankara at the moment and that's the main reason for knocking down Cebeci Stadium. The Mayor wants to make it an even 10,000 to satisfy the demands of the population !!!

    Who gives a shit about footie, unless you leave home at the crack o' sparras and head out to the Stadium from Hell in Yenikent which is ONLY about 40 Klicks outside Ankara !

    Sensible ...... yeah ????

  11. A bit like Woodyard Kipling then?

    You can't get a decent kipple anymore.