Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, brother!!!

Ankaragucu's brother team has captured headlines in Turkey over the last few days, but not because they are currently in third place. During this past weekend's match, some of the Bursa fans acted, well, inhospitably, towards the Diyarbakirspor players and fans implying (with the help of shards of green plastic from the stadium seats) that there was some connection between the PKK (The Kurdistan Workers' Party) and the team.

I am not going to go into the whole political side of this here. If you are interested, there are a couple of Turkish papers in English (links below), and mountains of other information on the internet and in your local library. I will just say that it is unfortunate that it had to be the Bursa fans to act like this. Bursa and Diyarbakir are two of the few cities in Turkey where the the inhabitants really support their home team and not one of the big three Istanbul teams.

I know the death of Abdulkerim Bayraktar (a die-hard Bursa fan whose death occurred while performing his military service in the southeast) in 1993 will never be forgotten, but that is no excuse to lash out against fans at a football match--some so young that they were not even alive when Abdulkerim was killed.

Let's hope that for the rest of the season most of the newsworthy action takes place on the pitch and not in the stands.

To read more about the details of what happened, here are a couple of links.
Note: The above photo was nicked from the CNN.Türk site:


  1. Connect Kanka Steve3:21 pm

    Glad you mentioned it here, Battle Damaged. It's tough to see such despicable behavior in our sister club.

  2. Jamie6:41 pm

    Had a Bursa supporter in my class today. He told me they deserved it and that Dyarbakir fans shouldnt mix sport and politics. Nothing like a hard days work...

  3. Sounds like a minor skirmish compared to a Glasgow Rangers v Glasgow Celtic match .... on the pitch and ....... especially off the pitch !!!

    Been there and seen it and don't want to re-visit it !!

  4. Did he tell you why they deserved it? Where they chanting "up with the PKK" or something? No, they weren't. You can support Bursa without acting simultaneously mean and stupid towards the opposing team and fans.

    What was your response, by the way?

    This kind of ultra-nationalist bull really worries me. If Bursa fans want to get violent let them take up boxing or ice hockey or something. They ruin the sport when they pull this kind of crap.

    Shouldn't you be able to take your kid to a match without worrying whether a piece of a plastic seat is going to wind up lodged in his eye hurled by some loser who probably can't even find Bursa let alone Diyarbakir on a map?

  5. Well said Battle Damaged.

    I spent most of the 1990/1991 Gulf War dodging Saddam's Scud Missles and I don't want to be doing something similar in Turkey 2009 ..... refer to my recent post 'Antalya welcomes tourists but not Ankaragucu' !!!

    Flying plastic chairs can do the same as Scud Missiles, ie, ..... kill !!!

  6. Agreed Damon

    Yeah I wouldnt call the kid one of the shining stars of class. I just let the kid talk though. I didnt want him to throw his chair at me....

    I do think we can take a lesson here from Philly and Judge Seamus and put a prison and court in the stadium like this one:

  7. Anonymous8:41 pm

    What's the latest on this,have Diyarbakir pulled out or what?Anyone got the info?

    Dublin Neil.

  8. Neil,

    As far as I understand, the Bursa management as well as the Nationalist Movement Party's vice president Oktay Vural expressed their regret to Diyarbakir Chairman Cetin Sumer for what happened in Bursa,and the TFF have convinced Mr. Sumer to keep his team in the league.

    However, Mr. Sumer has made it clear that he is not bluffing, and that if this kind of behavior continues, he will withdraw Diyarbakirspor from the league.

    The Professional Football Discipline Board has fined Bursa 110 thousand Turkish Lira, and, strangely, have banned the Diyarbakir coach Ziya Doğan from three matches. Apparently the ban is a response to Mr. Doğan's cursing at the ref., a charge which Mr. Doğan denies.

  9. Oh, I also forgot to mention that Bursa was to host a World Cup qualifying match between Turkey and Armenia on 14 Oct. According to Hurriyet Daily news "the treatment Diyarbakırspor supporters received Saturday raises questions about whether the city is a wise choice."

  10. Anonymous7:23 pm

    So much for President Gul's much heralded trip to Yerevan earlier this year for a football match.Seems to have been all undone by what happened last week in Bursa.Old habits die hard.
    Dublin Neil.