Sunday, November 30, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The kankas made the difficult decision to make the journey to Hell yesterday. For those of you who have been to the Ankaraspor Stadium in Yenikent then you will understand my meaning !

We met in The Chopin Bar as usual pre-midday to make the decision on how to get there. Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Philly Kanka Jamie, Connect Kanka Steve and I were the brave ones !

There was a massive CHP Political Rally going on in Kizilay all the way up to Ulus as we made our way along Ataturk Bulvari to try and find the Yenikent bus. However, we under-estimated the size of the Rally and got as far as Sihhiye before we realised that it would be impossible to find a bus.

Kaleci Kanka then came up with the idea of going by Banliyo (Commuter) train to Sincan. So, we negotiated our way across the Bulvari and waited for the train.

In conversation at the station it transpired that this would be a FIRST for us all. Having been in and out of Ankara for almost 30 years this would be Eski Kanka’s first journey on the famous Banliyo !

The 30 minutes journey saw us passing through the picturesque suburbs and Ankara countryside of such luvvlie places as Gazi, Ostim, Eryaman and Elvankent. Never to be forgotten …… ooops ….. should read ………. remembered …… scenery !

We arrived safely in Sincan, and then due to time constraints, it was into 2 taxis to the Stadium.

We made it there and entered the Stadium as the National Anthem was playing still smarting from the exorbitant entry price ….. 50 kurus (2 pence) !! Also, we were given 4 `free` tickets by some Gecikondu boys !

Anyway, almost forgot about footie after our travel adventures !

Ankaraspor 0 ANKARAGUCU 1

The match got underway in the winter sunshine with Ankaragucu in the familiar line up of Serkan in goal, back 4 of El-Yasa, Tolga, Santos and Ilkem. Midfield of Gokhan, Cem, Ibrahim and Captain Murat. Up front was Mehmet and Jaba.

It was a close first half with Ankaragucu shading the opening period, but Ankaraspor coming more into the match before half time. No real worries with Serkan in outstanding form and Santos in commanding form – both qualifying for my ‘Man of the Match’ award.

The 2nd half was mostly all Ankaragucu with Gokhan and Murat taking on a more attacking role from midfield.

Jaba obviously reads this Blog and must have been working on his neck muscles in midweek. He won 2 headers again, one of which brought out a great save from Senecky with the kankas on their feet anticipating a goal.

However, the goal duly arrived half way through the 2nd half after a period of concerted attacking. Gokhan fired in a rocket which rebounded (luckily) from Seneckey into the path of the in-rushing Mehmet and he made no mistake.

Cue ….. up the volume from the kankas and the impressive gathering of Ankaragucu tribunes.

Ankaraspor spent the last 10 minutes in the Ankaragucu half but it was all panic stuff from them. Serkan was never really tested, but when anything came his way it was being dealt with.

Jaba left the field near the end to a standing ovation and chants of …. Jaaaaaaba Jaba Jaba ….. He led the line well yesterday and the ovation was well deserved.

At the end of the match the players responded to the fans and came over to applaud the fans and throw their shirts into the crowd. With the surge of supporters, the ‘barriers’ collapsed and fans spilled onto the pitch with the stewards trying to restore order. A comical sight which could have been dangerous had Ankaragucu lost !! Interestingly, the Gendarma stood their ground and didn’t lift a finger to help the stewards !

We left the Stadium in high spirits but then were left with the perplexing question of ……. how do we get out of Hell and back to the safety of Ankara ??!!

Off we trudged down the ‘road’ to try and find some mode of transport. I was only wearing trainers and wondering why we didn’t wear our hiking boots ! Anyway, after 30 minutes of hiking we piled into a passing dolmus (mini bus) which took us back to Sincan.

Into the Banliyo and then the Metro from Sihhiye to Sakarya Caddesi and …. back into The Chopin for celebrations. Where was Maniac Kanka Harun ? Why didn’t he join us ? Awaiting the answer !!

We watched the first half of the Fener v Besiktas match and there was a lesson here for us from Besiktas on how to attack teams like Fener, ie, on breakaways, take the ball to the by-line and cut it back for the in-rushing strikers to attack it. We know Jaba reads our Blog, so please give this priceless piece of advice to Unal Karaman !

Third win of the season then and climbing out of the danger zone to 13th position after a disastrous start to the season. An important win therefore, but not just for the 3 points. With Galatasaray visiting next weekend confidence is high and Ankaragucu has no reason to fear any team in the league on yesterday’s performance.

Watch this space for match day and KO time.

Incidentally, you will recall that Battle Damaged Kanka won The Best Dressed Kanka Award in 2007/2008. Who can forget the day he entered the Stadium in his Cashmere coat, silver buckled shoes, Italian silk tie and his luvvlie black mittens ??!!

Well, we now have a real challenger for the 2008/2009 award. Phillie Kanka turned up yesterday in an exquisite pair of Michael Jackson look-a-like gloves which really set his ensemble off to the delight of all.

My advice for Battle Damaged …… better bring out ‘that coat’ again soon !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


  1. Anonymous3:39 am

    BattleDamagedKanka says. . .

    As Eski Kanka Jim mentioned, it was a sunny day, and while it did indeed get colder as the sun dropped, it cannot be said, even by those prone to exaggeration, that hell froze over. This win was no fluke.

    We were facing a team that had beaten Sivas, Kayseri, Bursa, and a host of lower ranked teams in regular season play. They had also tied GS in both their regular season match and the Turkish Cup match. This fact should provide a confidence boost going into next week's match against said Cim Bok Bok.

    Ankara was playing well. Serkan was his usual brilliant self in goal, Santos, Elyasa, and Metin were all strong in defense, Gokhan and Jaba were both dangerous in offense. And even Mehmet Yilmaz who I thought played poorly during the first half was there when he needed to be, to put the ball where it needed to be: past the goal keeper, between the posts and into the net.

    In closing, I do have to call attention to what I believe was a small error in Eski’s report. The demonstration Jim mentioned, of which we glimpsed only the beginnings, was not organized by CHP but rather by DISK (The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions) and KESK (The Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions). However, it is true that there were numerous political parties (including CHP) in attendance to lend support.

    On our way to the match, all appeared pretty orderly, but apparently, things turned pretty rough later in the day with the police—not known for their subtlety—resorting to gas (despite the presence of children and passersby) and knocking people about with their baton’s. Some demonstrators were quite feisty themselves wielding both sticks and stones against the police. For those interested, the newspaper Radikal published about 70 photos of the day’s events. Here is the link:

    The irony here is that despite fans knocking down the gates at the stadium following the match, it appears that a day at the stadium was--on this particular Saturday at least--quite a bit safer than a day the park (the demonstration was held at Abdi Ipekci park).

  2. Anonymous9:40 am

    What a great match. I was proud. Our team is turning the corner and anyone around it won't want to see us coming!

  3. Well said Mountaineering Kanka. So, let's bring on Galatasaray first yessssssssss !!!

  4. En Buyuk Baskent baska buyuk yok

  5. The ANKARAGUCU v Galatasaray match will be on Sunday 7th December KO 7pm.

    Meeting in The Chopin Bar between 4.30 and 5pm and going to the Stadium at 5.45pm.

    Oz Kanka will be sending out a weekend footie email soon.