Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

More exciting stories from the world of ladies footie............

It was the 3rd Round of the Ladies Scottish FA Cup last weekend and Hibernian Ladies took on lower league Bishopbriggs.

The minnows from Bishopbriggs (a small town outside Glasgow) shocked the high flying Premier League team by going one up in the opening minutes of the match.

The wake-up call was answered by the Hibernian Ladies in stunning and devastating fashion with 6 goals from Suzanne Grant and 4 from Kim Little.

Final score............ 16-1

A good day at the office !!

Next weekend the Hibernian Ladies take on Arsenal North in the 4th Round and we wish them well.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Agali goes AWOL so Ankaragucu sack him

I saw a short story by the Anatolian news agency today that Agali and Ankaragucu have "parted ways".

Following his getting a red card against Kayserispor two weeks ago Agali apparently decided not to bother hanging around in Ankara and instead legged it back home to Nigeria.

Missing heaps of training sessions is clearly a breach of contact and so Ankaragucu have sacked him and sent a report to FIFA.

Agali always seemed to be a "bits and pieces" player. It is true that he has sometimes scored a last-minute winner but in general I wasn't so impressed.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Good crowd, crap footy

Genclerbirligi 2 - 2 Kayserispor

A perfect sunny day in Ankara saw the Kankas come out in force. Down at the Chopin we had Arja, Roger, Spine, French Kanka Hande, Scott, Rob and young son Stephen, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, Genc Kanka Eddie and of course Eski Kanka Jim. At the stadium we were joined by Berrak, Cem, Yamaç, and finally Oguz and his son. Did I forget anyone?

As far as I can see we had eight different nationalities, that's if you consider Scottish as a nationality, not a bad crowd at all.

Beers in and off to watch fourth versus fifth. Many of the newer Kankas bought Genclerbirligi scarves and somehow or other we timed it so well that the national anthem was being played just as we entered.

Referee blows his whistle and Gencler were off, off their game that is. We played like crap, French Kanka Hande realised how bad we were when the crowd clapped because we had strung a couple of passes together. The Gencler players seemed nervous, the first touch on so many occasions seemed completely missing and passes were going straight to Kayseri players.

The ref wasn't helping things either, as Roger pointed out at the time: "This ref is rubbish".

Which made the first goal so surprising. Mr. Fish sent in a freekick which managed to go just over the heads of both a forward and one of their defenders, instead going through to Engin Baytar who had a go from a very difficult angle which somehow ended in the back of the net.

Kayseri kept on attacking but somehow we went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Second half and it was more of the same disapointing football. Kayseri came back with a headed goal and then the man that this blog loves, Isaac Promise controlled a through ball and then toe poked it over the keeper and into the goal. 2-1 up and really I couldn't believe it.

Then something very silly. Eren Aydin went in hard on a Kayseri player and was given a direct red. At the time it was difficult to see if it was right but this morning Eren himself made a public apology for going in too hard. Half an hour left, down a man and playing like crap. Conceding another goal seemed just to be a matter of time, even still, the manner in which it was scored had us all with our head in our hands. It was an own goal with Mehmet Nas, seemingly on his own with no pressure sending a pass from a Kayseri player into the back of the net. A great goal, except for the fact that Nas plays for Gencler.

Scott argued later that the keeper Recep should have come off his line to claim the ball. I agreed at the time but having seen the replay today I'm not so sure.

Kayseri kept the attacks up but somehow failed to score. 2-2 all up and I'd have to say we were very lucky to come away with a point.

It was then back to the Chopin to watch Chelsea-Arsenal. What a difference in quality and skill compared to the stuff we had just sat through. After that match the Chopin put on Antalya - Fenerbahce and the locals were definitely surprised when all of us yabancis cheered the Antalya goal.

Spine has promised to send me some photos from the match which I will post here as soon as he recovers from his hangover. (DONE)


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Well............ I can think of 3 for starters ! First up, ANKARAGUCU won for the 2nd week in a row (is this a record ??!!). Secondly, Musafa Ozkan is back in the team to steady the ship after Ceyhun jumped ship a few weeks ago !! Oh yes............ and Bebbe is back doing what he is supposed to do, ie, score goals !

Saturday afternoon, and it was...............

ANKARAGUCU 2 Gaziantep 1

Unfortunately, it was another non-attendance by the kankas so I have relied on Ozgur Sahiner of Turkey's finest (The Hurriyet) for the details.

Prior to the match, Hikmet Bey was reported as saying that it is now only important for ANKARAGUCU to win and the subject of playing good football will be secondary !

Wise words when Antep come calling, especially after they managed to put CimBom to the sword last weekend !!

Antep started the match the stronger of the 2 teams and ANKARAGUCU were wobbling at the back when Antep took the lead in the 15th minute through Kirita. At this point there was little cohesion in ANKARAGUCU's play, and a few narrow escapes due to misunderstandings between Serkan in goal and his defenders, and woeful finishing by Antep, spared the blushes and further punishment.

However, all that was to change with the long overdue introduction of Mustafa for Murat just before half time. Almost immediately Mustafa scored the equaliser much to the relief of the supporters.

Into the 2nd half and the ANKARAGUCU midfield of Mustafa, Tita and Yordanov took control of the match - Hikmet Bey's plan post-Ceyhun appears to be working at last !

Half-way through the 2nd half Bebbe bagged the winning goal.

So, a valuable 3 points against a team of Antep's reputation is most welcome and moves ANKARAGUCU up the table into 10th position and 9 points above 3rd bottom Denizli who will host ANKARAGUCU next weekend.

All the best from a smiling Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Says who ? Can you believe it comes from the dangerous Tatangalar Group of Sakaryaspor ??!!

TDN reported this morning that the Tatangalar Group want to make peace with Bursaspor supporters this weekend. This is amazing when we remember the `battle` between those 2 sets of supporters in 2003/2004 season when Bursa were relegated and it has been continuing ever since.

This gesture apparently was decided last weekend when one of the Sakaraya supporters died on his way back from the Fener match and the supporters thought it was an ideal opportunity to `kiss and make up`.

Congratulations says I for one. If you remember, I mentioned this subject a few months ago in a post following the excellent behaviour of the Besiktas supporters after they lost to Tottenham in Istanbul. Also, in another recent post I mentioned the close and historical liaison between ANKARAGUCU and Bursa supporters.

Anyway, Bursa supporters have responded positively to this `peace` initiative. Sakarya supporters have also `thrown down the gaunlet` to other groups to attend this weekend's match and they have received acceptances from Besiktas, Fener and Trabzon. No mention of ANKARAGUCU as far as I'm aware !

As most of you know, there has always been problems between the Tatangalar Group and the ANKARAGUCU groups and I can only hope that the `olive branch` will be extended here and that we can `bury the hatchet` and also `kiss and make up` !!

Message for today............ make love, not war !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Going Dutch

I have no idea where people are going to watch tonight's AZ Alkmaar - Fenerbahce match but just to get people in the mood I thought I'd post a photo of us giving Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo some moral support a couple of week's ago.

What you cannot see in the photo are all the Ankara Fener fans who we had to outshout.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Yesterday's score -


The surprise package in early season, Manisa, is now a pale shadow of the team who were riding high at the top of the league for the first month or so. They are now classed as a `mid-table team` and are currently in 8th position in the league.

That said, we should not be too euphoric about yesterday's result. However, 3 points are 3 points and for that we must be grateful !

There is still lots of water to pass under the bridge before the season ends, so each point will be vital in the fight to avoid relegation, and with ANKARAGUCU on 7 points above 3rd bottom placed club Denizli, it will be a fight for survival !

Not much said in The Hurriyet this morning about the match, except that `it dispersed the dark clouds over them this season`. Mmmmmm, yes, I suppose we could say that, after all, it was their 1st victory outside Ankara this season !!

The vital goal was scored by `Mr 90 Minutes`, Abdurrahman Derili just before the half-time whistle.

ANKARAGUCU is at home against Gaziantep next weekend 24/25 February. More details of that nearer the time when known.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A sweet, sweet victory over Gokcekspor

But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer.

So sang Slim Dusty, Australia's third greatest singer (Kylie is number one followed by Rolf Harris). Slim could have changed the last line to be:

Than to watch Genclerbirligi without any beer

It was a very depressed Oz Kanka who headed off to the Ankaraspor - Genclerbirligi match this morning. I say morning because I had to get up early just to be able to make the 2 p.m. kick-off. May I suggest that if you haven't already done so read the post I put on the blog this morning to get the background to this truly away match (no doubt right below this one if Sir Eski Kanka hasn't got in with his report of the Ankaragucu match already).

So into the Renault Clio and Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo and myself headed off for a long, long journey. Found the big ekmek sign on the road to Istanbul and veered off. We were still ages away from the stadium but from this point on it was easy. It was something I had never experienced before in Turkey - nice big signs pointing the way to somewhere I wanted to go.

As there wasn't all that much traffic the journey only took us an hour and Flying Dutchman and myself were looking forward to a cup of tea... not much chance of a beer out there in true AKP territory. I also needed another pack of cigarettes.

Arrive at the stadium to find absolutely nothing. Not a single bakkal or tea house. This was truly the back of beyond. Nice setting though with the mountains in the background and the stadium surrounded by farms. But I do wonder if this is the sort of place for a stadium for a capital that Gokcek keeps on going on about as a true European city.

PHOTOCAPTION: A blurred photo taken in the car which gives you an idea of just how isolated the stadium is. By the way, the stadium is the thing in the middle.

Anyway, got our tickets from a hole in the wall (literally - by the way Carlo thanks a lot for getting my ticket, I owe you 50 kuruş, or 70 US cents) and made our way inside. Being a rural area the stadium wasn't patrolled by police but by gendarmes who are lot more professional.

Sitting around in the stadium and actually I was quite impressed. Everything seemed quite new (it has recently been refurbished by Gokcek) and there were lots of urinals in the toilets which weren't even smelly. Even so this didn't stop our fans from screaming out "Gokcek istifa!"

PHOTOCAPTION: A few Gencler supporters before the main bus loads arrived.

Finally on to the match.

Ankaraspor 1 - Genclerbirligi 2

Gencler started off pretty badly with Ankaraspor making some promising attacks. In fact we could have been down 1-0 after just a few minutes but for an absolute blinder of a save from Recep (Jesus seems to have gone AWOL).

Mehmet Cakir somehow managed to send an absolute sitter over the bar a few minutes later but that seemed to spur Gencler on.

Engin made a terrific run by himself on the right (our right - we were behind the goals) and after finally hearing Flying Dutchman Kanka screaming "go for it yourself" for a few minutes, had a go which was saved wonderfully by the Ankaraspor keeper.

Although we had had the better shots it seemed as if Ankaraspor were playing better as a team, they were passing it out wide well and in some instances our defenders were not rushing them, giving them plenty of time to set up attacks. Our last line of defenders and the keeper had a bit too much work for my liking.

Then came the attack that shut up all of Gokcek's supporters who were bussed in for the match. After a nice piece of work we won a corner on the right. Mehmet Cakir sent in a beauty to the far post where Okan Ozturk climbed and headed down, as all forwards are taught to do. The angle was too difficult for their keeper and we found ourselves one up. Much joy and jubilation amongst the 3,000 or so Gencler fans at the match.

Half time and all was looking well. We seemed to have calmed down after the first few minutes of rubbish and were clearly threatening the goal more than Ankaraspor. Having said that the referee was clearly an AKP voter and gave them freekicks whenever the wind managed to blow over an Ankaraspor player.

Second half and we started off well. A few good attacks and chances on goal and then the most amazing thing I have ever seen happened. Yep, Isaac Promise scored for Genclerbirligi.

It was the end of a brilliant set of play from Gencler and all Isaac had to do was tip the ball in but as we have seen him miss these so many times before (and as we were to see later in the match) we didn't hold our breath. But hey, he got it in and we were 2-0 up. Happy days indeed.

Now for the nerves. Ankaraspor clearly upped the tempo. We were playing great counterattacking football, the sort which we are often very good at. But the goals wouldn't come. (see above comment about Isaac).

Then I was watching how thousands of Ankaraspor "supporters" were leaving the ground. I was amazed as there was still another 20 minutes or so of play left in the match. It wasn't as if they all had a plane to catch... and bam... somehow or other, Ankaraspor scored.

Then for the really nailbiting stuff. The ref was in full pro-Ankaraspor mode (although I have to admit one of the linesmen was deinitely a true secularist) and except for some fine goalkeeping and last minute tackles Ankaraspor could have equalised. At the same time though if some of our players up front had have been on true form we could have gone further ahead.

Whistle blows and we are over the moon. An hour's journey back to Kizilay were we dropped into Buyuk Express for my first beer of the day. I mentioned to some of the Gencler fans whom we joined at the pub that it was the first time I had ever been to a match without having had a beer first. As we had won they tried to make me promise not to have a beer before next week's match as well. My reply, in English, was of course "bugger off".

Some interesting things I noted today.

The Yenikent Stadium may be a million miles from anywhere but Gokcek almost got it filled. I was told the capacity is 20,000, and if that is the case I would say the crowd was around 17,000. Not too bad for a match that in normal circumstances would get about 5,000, if that. Now, for what is a first for me, and will probably be the last, I'm going to give Gokcek some praise.

Ankaraspor has a natural fan base of about 13 people. To get 17,000 or so people along to an Ankaraspor match you have to do something special.

First up, of course, was the extremely low price of the tickets. In fact even though they were so cheap many many people managed to get in for free.

Second was the free buses to get people to the stadium.

Third was the promise of a free Ankaraspor shirt for everyone sitting in the Ankaraspor ends (ie all but our section behind the goals) and then they handed out to their supporters footballs at the end of the match. Lucky they did this at the end or else there could have been chaos during the match.

Fourthly, they advertised like mad in the areas near the stadium and they clearly aimed this advertising at not just the typical football supporter but at the kiddies. Turkish football is a pretty male-dominated affair when it comes to the spectators and so it was great to see so many families at the match. Kiddies are extremely impressionable and I'm sure many of them having been to their first top-flight match are at home tonight wearing their Ankaraspor top, kicking the ball with their brothers or sisters and swearing at the TV for not yet having the highlights of what was a good game of football and a great day out.

Those kiddies may well pressure their dads' to get them along to the next match. They may even resist the pressure to support one of the Big 3 Istanbul clubs.

Gokcek is clearly a skillful politician. Cavcav and Aydin should have a look at what happened today and try and learn something. They won't of course because they are both fools.

The other interesting thing I learnt today is that although gendarmes are extremely professional (they even found Flying Dutchman's hoard of coins that the police at 19 Mayis had never managed to find) they are all male. Therefore there is no one to frisk the girls. Lesson, when we next head out to Yenikent we must take a girl along to carry our coins, lighters, flares, guns etc.

All up, I went in an angry mood but actually had a great day out.

As if I needed another reason to dislike Gokcek

After taking Little Oz Kanka to a play on Saturday afternoon - an excellent tale entitled "King of the Jungle" where in the end the king loses his crown and the animals decide on some sort of collective democracy. It was basically a cry against the TV revenue hogging of the big three Istanbul clubs and Matthew and I left the threatre singing "kirmizi, siyah, en buyuk Gencler" - when I checked in on the Gencler forums to find that today's match had been switched to Yenikent.

Ankaraspor "honourary in nothing but name" chairman Melih Gokcek has been trying for a while to have Ankaraspor matches played out near Sincan for a while now. I guess the main reason being that normally Ankaraspor get about 20 supporters to their home matches whereas at the last elections he got massive majorities out in the Sincan area.

It is, of course, Ankaraspor's right to play its home matches wherever it wants but this week and a bit has shown what a farce this league is.

First up we had Gokcek's fight with Ankaragucu chairman Cemal Aydin which resulted in fans being priced out of Ankaraspor's home match against Gucu. 150 TL for a ticket behind the goals! Even Chelsea fans would balk at that.

Then this week it was finally confirmed on Thursday that that the Ankaraspor - Genclerbirligi match would be played at 19 Mayis (for those of you who don't know it is pretty much in the centre of town). Ankaraspor went to court and so, as I said before, I found out Saturday afternoon that the match will be played miles out of town.

Thanks for the advanced warning people.

So I'm going to drive to the match today. Problem is I don't know where the hell this Yenikent Asas Stadium is. There is no info on the Ankaraspor website, in fact they are still saying the match is on at 19 Mayis.

As I was going off to the symphony (I try to mix politically subversive theatre for kiddies, cultural high-brow stuff and the people's game all on the same weekend) I left a message on a Gencler forum asking for directions.

This is one of the replies I got:

"Oz Kanka, melbourne gelmeden sağa dön, çeşmeyi geçince karşına büyük bir okalüptüs ağacı çıkacak onun altında beni bekle. Saat tam 12.45 de oradayım."

Taking the piss me thinks.

A much more helpful post was the following:

"I think you know istanbul road...go go go and there is a an advertisement board....bread picture TAYMEK trabzon ekmeği...(ekmek resmi olan tabela) if you see that after 100 metres bi tabela gözükecek....turn right to BEYPAZARI AYAŞ YENİKENT...and go go go dümdüz...there is sincan...after sincan first yerleşim yeri yenikent....oralarda bi yerde turn right asaş stadı tabelası görünce....good luck..."

So with those directions Flying Dutchman Kanka and myself are off to the stadium. We may be some time.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Top class football coming to Ankara's prison soon

Turkey has some weird laws. As far as I know it is still illegal to wear a fez hat and foreigners are banned from certain sensitive job catagories, such as shoe cobbling.

One of the weirder ones though is the 1925-enacted law that makes things such as fortune telling and sorcery a criminal offence punishable by between three and 20 months imprisonment.

It appears that Genclerbirligi have fallen foul of the law with prosecutors looking into television footage which showed that before the start of the second half of the season the team and technical staff took part in a ceremony described in Turkish as kurşun dökmek.

I had to look up the dictionary for that one and this is what it said. "to do sorcery or a charm (by casting lead into water)."

The fact that we then went on to lose our first two matches of the second half as well as a Turkish Cup match seems to prove that the sorcery failed. But still the investigation has been launched and in the near future we may have the whole team and coaches locked up, which surely wouldn't help in our quest for European football.

The story reminded me of how witchcraft was what got Australia intolast year's World Cup.

In 1969 the Australia team was in Africa trying to qualify for the 1970 World Cup. They were up against Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and needed a big win. The players went off and saw a witchdoctor who did something or other. The Aussies went on to win the match 3-1 and unsurprisingly the witchdoctor wanted some money. The Aussie amateurs didn't have enough and so the witchdoctor promised to put a curse on the Australian team.

Just before our next game three players fell ill and, lo and behold, we failed to qualify. Sure we did qualify for 1974 but we were crap there.

Fast forward to last year and an Aussie comedian went back to Mozambique (where the Aussie v Rhodesia match had been played) to discover that the original witchdoctor had died. He found another though who channeled the first guy.

In the words of the comedian John Safran: "Sitting in the middle of the pitch and he killed a chicken and splattered the blood all over me. I then had to go to Telstra Stadium (in Sydney) with (former Aussie captain) Johnny Warren and we had to wash ourselves in some clay the witchdoctor had given us."

Curse lifted and we went on qualify for the World Cup. Perhaps I ought to get that Safran bloke out here.

Confession: Large parts of this report were lifted from the Sydney Morning Herald. Original story here

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dodgy goings on in Edirne

If you think there are some dodgy goings on in the Super Lig take a look at the brilliantly named "Edirne Super Amator Lig". Going into the last match of the season and Aysekadin Genclerbirligi (no relation by the way) and Kesanspor are on equal points at the top of the table.

An excellent showdown which no doubt doubled the crowds at their last matches to around two dozen people. The only hassle is that if teams finish equal in the Super Amator Lig the title is settled by goal difference.

And so it was that Aysekadin lead in the first half against Sarachane 1-0. Obvious they played a bit better in the second half as they ended up winning 12-0.

This was not enough, however, as Kesanspor played a blinder defeating Uzunkopruspor 19-1 after leading at half-time 7-0.

Kesanspor carried off the Lig title and there are some rather pissed off Aysekadin supporters.

"It is clear there is corruption here," said an advertisement published in a local Edirne paper. "Our match finished and there was still five minutes left in Kesanspor's match. To win the championship they needed to score four more goals. In the last five minutes they scored four goals."

The advertisement also points out that before the last match of the season Uzunkopruspor had conceded only 26 goals but that in its last match it conceded 19.

All fun and games in Edirne. The whole story reminds me of a certain mate of Sir Eski Kanka who conceded quite a few goals in the last match of the season to deny Besiktas (I think) the title quite a few years ago.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

About time

Thanks to the arrival in Ankara of Australia's foreign minister I had to stay home Sunday afternoon and therefore I missed today's Genclerbirligi - Bursaspor match. Therefore I have to rely on the good people of the Anatolian news agency for the news. And finally they had some good news for us depressed Gencler fans.

Genclerbirligi 1 - Bursaspor 0

The weather seemed perfect today in Ankara, still cold but the sun was out and Gencler started off well.

Seventh minute and we took the lead thanks to a penalty from Okan Ozturk. Who knows if it was deserved or not but a goal is a goal.

The rest of the first half seems to have been pretty much Gencler's. Problem is, and I think everyone knows what is coming up next, Mr. Promise up front.

To translate pretty much directly: "13th minute Mehmet Cakir sends it in from the right to Okan who sends it to Isaac Promise. This footballer shoots badly with the outside of his foot??? and the ball goes out."

He sort of redeemed himself a few minutes later with a strong shot that came off the crossbar. But still...

A couple more shots but nothing results and we are 1-0 up at half time.

The second half, according to Anatolia, was a mid-field scrap with the condition of the pitch forcing mistake after mistake.

Bursa though seemed to have most of the shots and it appears that Recep in goal (where was Jesus?) saved a couple of good attempts.

I'll take a 1-0 victory. Gets us a bit higher on the table and therefore still in with a chance for a UEFA Cup place. Fingers crossed.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Not a happy Saturday in Ankara and red was not the favoured colour ! No, I'm not talking about the red and yellow shirts of Kayseri, but of the TWO red cards for ANKARAGUCU !!

ANKARAGUCU 0 Kayserispor 4

However, the damage was done well before the red cards were waved. Kayseri went into the lead in the 10th minute and scored their 2nd and 3rd by the 20 minute. Game over as a contest !

My optimistic report from Hikmet Bey yesterday was looking rather comical by half time !!!

A 4th goal 10 minutes from time concluded the scoring. Prior to the 4th goal, Agali was sent off for putting his elbow into a Kayseri player where it shouldn't have gone, and near the end Tita was off for something he said to the referee. Very thoughtful of two key players to get themselves sent off prior to an away match against impressive Manisa next week !!!

According to the match report in Hurriyet, ANKARAGUCU had only one serious attempt on goal when Bebbe tried an overhead scissors kick which hit a post and went out of play.

Ozgur Sahiner of Hurriyet made a few important observations after the match. He said that the standard of performance has deteriorated since the departure of Ceyhun. He accuses Ceyhun of being selfish, egoist and arrogant on one hand, but on the other, he said that ANKARAGUCU will find it difficult to win without him !!! Tita didn't rise to Hikmet Bey's challenge of taking over the leadership of the team.

I think that is rather an unfair assessment after only one match, but it remains to be seen whether Tita and Yordanov can grasp the nettle.

Ozgur Bey was also critical of ANKARAGUCU's lack of discipline.

It goes without saying that it is a sure way of losing the loyal support of the fans if there is indiscipline in the team.

It seems to me that Hikmet Bey will be a busy man this week trying to restore confidence and credibility to the team in the coming weeks.

ANKARAGUCU is now being sucked back into the relegation zone and alarm bells will now be ringing !

That's all from this disappointed reporter. I hope there will be some upbeat news next week.......... watch this space.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Kilimanjaro conquered, six to go

Mountaineering Kanka Robbie and his good wife Mysterious Kanka Judy recently went on a holiday to Africa. Here is the story:

"It was a shock to go from the cold of Ankara to the heat of Tanzania. We arrived in Dar Es Salaam on a Sunday and it was about 35 degrees. Monday evening after an eight hour bus journey towards the Kenyan border we saw the mountain for the first time and it was seriously tall and intimidating.
Tuesday we started the climb and the first day was all jungle and mud. Mysterious Kanka (aka my wife Judy) had a bit of a stomach thing and tried to work it out several times on the side of the trail. Reached camp that night (3100 m) and got a little shut eye. We were tired, but ready for the challenges ahead, much like ANKARA GUCU!

Wednesday started off well, with great views over the plains and Mt. Meru (4500 m) in the background. After a bit though, the rains came... and came... and came. It probably rained 10 cm or more on us during the day. Serious rain. We approached our campsite for the evening (3800 m) which had half-turned into a river on a hillside. Everything was wet. We knew then that the mountain wasn't going to give up without a fight, much like ANKARA GUCU!

Thursday proved a banner day. We had an acclimatization hike up to lava tower (4600 m) and then back down to a different camp (3900 m) for the night. It was a tough slog and there was still rain. Felt a spot of dizziness coming on at about 4100 m and had to take it down a gear. Learned about the seriousness of altitude today when one of the guides (not ours) had a stroke at 4000 m. Made it to lava tower and on the descent to camp the sky finally opened and we got our first close up of the mountain. There were huge glaciers hanging off impossibly high ridges and cliffs...stuff of legend, much like ANKARA GUCU!

Friday gave us the best views yet as we traversed the mountain a bit more to our next camp at 4000 m. Climbed the infamous Barranco wall on the way and had to contend with porters inching by us on ledges not built for two! Was one of them humming the Ankara Gucu theme song? I couldn't be sure, but it sounded like it. We got to camp after about five hours of work. The porters were amazing, balancing tents, backpacks, water bottles, you name it, on their heads. This is a working man's mountain and I'm sure the porters' blood runs SARI-LACIVERT!

Saturday saw us heading towards the high camp (4600 m) and into position for our summit push. As far as hikes went, this day was one of the easiest, because we could see where we were headed the whole time, a luxury not afforded to the Gucu faithful as Cemal Aydin likes to hide our future behind his coat tails of greed and stupidity. YONETIM ISTIFA!

At midnight, we started for the summit and I can honestly say that it was one of the most serious physical challenges that I've ever faced. Tougher than a marathon ought to sum it up. Because of the lack of oxygen, the pace became seriously slow, like some of Gucu's games. But we battled on ...5000 m ...5100 m. Slowly everything started to change as we were looking down on more than we were looking up at ...5200 m ...5300 m. The moon was so bright we didn't even use any lights to guide our way in the night ...5400 m ...5500 m. The air was so thin that we were managing about one step about every two or three seconds and about 3 breaths for every step! Dawn broke as we hit 5600 m and we could see the crater rim ahead. With agonizingly slow work we crested the crater rim (5735 m) and there it was, a huge bowl of snow more than two miles across! Glaciers were everywhere and not far away along the ridge we could see the summit. With a final push, we reached the top of Africa and the top of Kilimanjaro (5895 m). I was proud as I stood at the top and unfurled the flag of champions. Others lucky enough to be there looked on quizzically, but their faces soon turned to admiration as I dared them with my eyes not to show respect! GURURUMUZ ANKARA GUCU!

The descent ended up taking a day and a half and was uneventful. We took it slowly, basking in our accomplishment and yucking it up with the porters along the way, who are now die hard supporters of Gucu. An adventure worth remembering to be sure.

I am hoping that this has set a few records. If I'm wrong, please write and correct me.

First Gucu flag ever on Kilimanjaro
Highest a Gucu flag has ever been flown
First Gucu flag on any of the seven summits (highest point on each continent)

Hope you enjoyed the story and rest assured that there will be more mountains claimed for our beloved team."

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Hikmet Karaman (the ANKARAGUCU coach) was giving his thoughts and future plans to Hurriyet yesterday. This was probably in response to the criticism received at the club after the transfer of our captain, Ceyhun, to Trabzon recently.

He said that he intends to give Tita the role played by Ceyhun in the team and that he is sure that he can take the extra responsibility of the `midfield general` role.

He also said that Tita is a versatile player who has proved in the past with Ankaraspor, and more recently with ANKARAGUCU, that he can take on this offensive role. He is fast and will be able to set-up goal scoring chances for Bebbe and Agali, the two main strikers.

He also sees Yordanov as a player who can assist Tita in the midfield and also chip-in with goal scoring chances themselves.

All credit therefore to Hikmet Bey for addressing this question. Hopefully we shall see some positive results in today's match against high flying Kayseri. Watch this space tomorrow for more !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mt. Bolu (tick), Everest (not yet)

Admittedly I caught a lift up Bolu mountain to get this shot, as opposed to Mountaineering Kanka Robbie who actually climbed Hasan Dag, but still it was bloody cold and windy.

We are getting quite a little collection of Ankaragucu and Gencler fans in weird places. You can check out all the photos here. In fact I should go and fix that last page up to make it more people friendly.

EDIT: Just updated the photo archive. It looks a lot nicer now.

Hibs Draw QoS in Cup Quarter Final

Hibs reward for beating Gretna 3-1 at Easter Road last Saturday was a quarter final against Queen of the South. Queens are currently bottom of the Scottish First Division however they will be at home and looking for a lift from a passionate home crowd.

A big crowd at Easter Road had seem Gretna match Hibs for the first 25 minutes until some Scott Brown wing play gave Rob Jones the chance to head Hibs in front.

Two more goals early in the second half secured the win for Hibs, Gretna got a late consolation that their play deserved. Hibs will have to start finding a bit more form as they have not been dominating games against lower placed teams, hopefully they will rise to the occasion this Saturday when Celtic at Parkhead await.

Hibbee Kanka

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dynamic Danes crush Australia

As those journos for the Guardian like to say, "in London you are never more than 10 yards away from a rat, or an Australian". Which meant that Tuesday night's Australia versus Denmark friendly in London was a home match for us.

The Aussies came out in force for the match at Loftus Rd. and here in Ankara Viking Kanka Jens invited a few of us over to his place to watch the match on Eurosport.

Australia 1 - Denmark 3

In some ways the match reminded me of Genclerbirligi a couple of years ago. Australia was going for it. With a few of our top players not playing the rest of the squad decided to try like hell. What we got was some lovely attacking football but then, at the back, gaps were left and the Vikings were very clinical in taking all their chances.

"Denmark has the luckiest defence in the world," Viking Kanka said at one point. He wasn't far wrong. We had one goal disallowed for absolutely no reason. Another was rightly disallowed for offside and someone sent the ball into the post. Possession-wise we must have dominated.

All up though it wasn't a bad game but still any loss is depressing, as can be seen in the accompanying picture of Spice Kanka Duncan and your reporter for the match. The happy couple behind are Ditte and Soren who, being diplomats, didn't give us too much crap over the result.

Of course, Australia and Denmark have very good relations nowadays thanks to some sheila from Tasmania who managed to hook herself a Danish prince during the Sydney Olympics a few years ago. The question has to be though, just who did "Our Mary" support last night. She probably came out with some sort of cliche like "football was the winner".

Just as an aside former Genclerbirligi midfielder Josip Skoko had a very good match while Sivasspor goalkeeper Petkovic was a bit unlucky to have the defenders he did.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Of flags and footy

Politics has definitely been on display on the terraces in Turkey in the last few weeks. In the main it has been nationalist groups angry that those attending the funeral of Hrant Dink held up placards saying "We are all Armenians".

In response various nationalist groups, especially Trabzon supporters, have been carrying placards "We are all Turks" or variations on the theme. I don't want to go into the details or my views on the matter as this blog tries to stick to the big issues affecting Turkey, such as the still-proposed banning of smoking at football stadiums.

But I thought I'd run something political straight from The Observer, Sir Eski Kanka's Sunday reading material concerning a bloke called Mete who seems to have upset the Greek Cypriot community of London.

From The Observer Notebook article:

Why have Arsenal redecorated the Emirates Stadium?

When Arsenal moved in to the Emirates Stadium, they asked the fans to help them 'decorate' it with flags. Now, it seems, they'd prefer any colour, as long as it's red. The club has banned national flags of every description and demanded that 'only flags in support of Arsenal Football Club' be flown.

This is not, perish the thought, an opportunistic attempt to boost merchandise sales. No, the 60,000-seat ground is turning monochrome because of a fan known as Mete, who has been flying a Turkish Cypriot flag. More than 8,000 people complained about his flag, as the 'Republic of Northern Cyprus' is only recognised by Turkey (who knew the Highbury faithful were so politically aware?). So rather than removing the offending item, the club banned all national emblems. How odd, when Arsenal are the United Nations of the Premiership.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

First up, the result of yesterday’s match…………

Ankaraspor 1 ANKARAGUCU 0

However, apart from the result, this match will not be remembered with affection by the ANKARAGUCU supporters, or for that matter, the players. This was all about the black side of politics and not about footie !!

According to my understanding of the situation, it all started last week when the Chairman of Ankaraspor, the now infamous Melih Gokcek, suggested that the match take place in one of Ankara’s smaller stadiums rather that 19 Mayis Stadium. This was rejected by Cemal Aydin much to the annoyance of Mr Gokcek.

So, the `nice` Mr Gokcek decided (as an act of revenge) to hike up the price of tickets for the match from the normal YTL 5 -20 to YTL 150 -250 ! A wonderful act of sportsmanship and a truly wonderful way to reward all the punters who turned up on a cold day in Ankara to see a footie match !!

The ANKARAGUCU supporters protested outside the Stadium but all in vain. Only a very few paid these extortionate prices and so the ANKARAGUCU tribunes in the Stadium were almost empty.

Atilla Turker of Hurriyet Newspaper was scathing in his criticism of Gokcek when he asked the question…………. Who is the elephant and who is the bush ?! The elephants are fighting and the bushes are being mashed !!

I suppose that is one way of putting it ??!!

He went on to say that it seemed as if Gokcek was saying……….. don’t come to the match – stay away !

It seems to me that Gokcek should attend the next ANKARAGUCU v Bursa match so that he can learn a thing or two about sportsmanship and the importance of supporters. Doesn’t he understand the basics of the sport ?? The life-blood of every successful team are the supporters and if a person in his exaulted position doesn’t know this then I throw my arms up in despair !!

The fact that Gokcek went into the ANKARAGUCU dressing room after the match to shake the players hands was, in my opinion, too little too late !!

I am sure that we have not heard the end of this !!

Back to the important subject ……… the match.

The record book will show that Ankaraspor won the match and there can be no argument about that. A goal is a goal and 3 points are 3 points. However, apart from the goal from Hurriyet in the 24th minute (assisted by a rare error from Serkan), it was all ANKARAGUCU. The undisputed man of the match was the Ankaraspor goalkeeper Hakan. No doubt he will be in Hurriyet’s Team of the Weekend in tomorrow’s newspaper ?!!

ANKARAGUCU totally dominated the match, the 2nd half in particular, and Aytekin and Tita were the worst offenders by scorning good opportunities to score. Only heroics by Hakan kept the score down. I suppose he will be next on Trabzon’s shopping list ??!!!

I was unable to attend the match due to work commitments, but acknowledgement is made to the Hurriyet newspaper for the above brief report.

No doubt ANKARAGUCU missed the midfield guile and leadership of Ceyhun, and where was he I can hear you ask ? He was sitting on the Trabzonspor bench !!! His replacement, Yordanov from Bulgaria, came on for ANKARAGUCU for the last 15 minutes, but with all due respect to his ability, I doubt if he can take over from where Ceyhun left off. He has been around quite a few Turkish teams over the past few years, and at 33 years old, is no spring chicken !!! Time will tell !

ANKARAGUCU have now slipped down to 12th position in the league, but they are only 6 points behind 4th placed Manisa. So, still all to play for.

Looking forward to next weekend……..

Saturday 10 February – ANKARAGUCU v Kayseri – KO 2pm
Sunday 11 February – Genclerbirligi v Bursaspor – KO 2pm

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A late one

This is a few weeks late but it shows the general demeanor of Ankaragucu fans (and Gencler fans for that matter), at the moment.

Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo took this photo during Ankaragucu's loss to Besiktas in the Cup a few weeks ago.

On the left we have a dejected Maniac Kanka Harun and his mate Sir Eski.

Friday, February 02, 2007

When will this nightmare stop?

Snowing in Ankara and fears that the taxis wouldn't be able to get up the hill from the Knight and Flight bar back to the Occupied Territories, otherwise known as Gaziosmanpasa, meant I had to watch the match at home. No worries though as I had Little Oz Kanka as company who sat with me through the whole first half of Fenerbahce versus Genclerbirligi.

I can now understand what all those "do it yourself bringing up babies" books are all about. These kiddies do mimic their parents. Every "C'mon Gencler" from me brought out a "c'mon Gencler" from Matthew. When I laughed at Fener mistakes so did he. Unfortunately he also repeated what I said when Fener scored... mmmm. On to the match itself

Fenerbahce 2 - Genclerbirligi 1

I have to admit I'm getting sick of playing Fenerbahce. We lost to them 2-1 on Tuesday in a Cup match and by the same amount tonight. Not sure when but we will have another match against them soon for the return leg of the Cup quarterfinal.

As usual we started well and definately had the best chances of the first few minutes, one especially good shot from Erhan (whose last name escapes me and when I can't check it out on the Genclerbirligi website because Chairman Ilhan Cavcav seems to have pulled the plug on it) from about 30 metres out hit the top bar. But again as usual we went behind in the ninth. Some bad defending but it was a good header from Tuncay.

Didn't have to wait too long though for the deserved equaliser. Mehmet Cakir sent it in. A defender headed it out. Mehmet Nas from miles out absolutely belted the thing and bang... goal to Genclerbirligi.

I was jumping up and down as was Matthew (age almost 3 by the way) and quite frankly I was feeling slightly confident. Stupid me.

Despite Fener fielding a full strength side, unlike on Tuesday when they rested a whole heap of people, I thought that despite a few flashes of brilliance they weren't playing that well. On the other hand Genclerbirligi seemed to be doing quite well, that's if you don't count Isaac Promise who yet again looked like a bunny caught in the headlights.

First half over and Matthew decided he had better go to bed (actually it was Mrs. Oz Kanka who decided that). Perhaps I should have done the same.

Not sure what was in the orange juice our players were drinking at half-time but it clearly wasn't cocaine as we came out very slow. They weren't that slow but still, we had few chances on goal.

Then Fener put the knife in with a goal to Aurelio. No real excuses here. Fener passed the ball well in and around the box and I have to admit it was a nice goal.

More buggering around for a while and then something very strange.

It was the 74th minute play was going along and then the referee for no apparent reason pulled out a straight red card for Kezman. The television gurus at Lig TV couldn't even find the incident. In other words I don't have a clue what happened. Kezman didn't complain much though and considering he is a Fenerbahce player this is tantamount to admitting to mass murder.

Didn't really help Gencler though. We had a few attacks on goal but nothing much of substance.

Another loss... Let me call on Gencler coach Mesut Bakkal yet again... "Please drop Isaac Promise".

EDIT: Saturday. Seems as if Kezman got sent off for saying "fuck you" to an opponent. According to the Anatolia news agency he has accepted that he said it but claims in his defence that everyone says it in England.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

HIbs Go To Hampden

Eski Kanka asked for some good news and we can certainly give it to him. Hibs beat St Johnstone 3-1 after extra time to reach the final of the League cup.

Hibs went one up after only three minutes and looked as if they were going to run riot however St Johnstone dug in and turned the game around. From that point on Hibs were second best to everything and were hanging on to their lead by the skin of their teeth.

A deserved equaliser for St Johnstone after 77 minutes was the catalyst Hibs needed though and in the second minute of extra time Murpy scored a free kick. Hibs were reasonably comfortable after that although St Johnstone had a couple of minutes pressure only to be caught at the death.

Not the best performance but we are still going to the final.

Hibbee Kanka