Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who says politics and sport should never mix?

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.


  1. Hey there. Ankaraspor sent down?

    http://www.milliyet.com.tr/Spor/HaberDetay.aspx?aType=HaberDetay&ArticleID=1139779&Date=16.09.2009&b=Ve Ankaraspor dustu&KategoriID=6

  2. I don't know why exactly, but Beşiktaş also claims to be a brother team of Livorno. Can someone explain why this is? Besiktas never struck me as a particularly working class team.

  3. Well said Battle Damaged Kanka .... after all, which team is their other brother team from Ingallind ??? None other than ....

    Tottenham Hotspur ........ and

    have you ever seen a poor working class Spurs supporter ?? Easy answer ..... NO !

    Perish the thought that anyone should think that I am a religious bigot, but ....... the fact that Tottenham Hotspur is well known to be heavily subsidised by the Jewish community should give a clue to my statement !!

  4. in turkey,politics is not effective on inside of the tribunes if we look to celtic-rangers derby.it has a historical backround and they are fully opposite groups.in turkey for the people it is important being a member of their teams.beşiktaş and adanademirspor known as socialist tribünes but also this teams have fans from another political ideology.

    and there is not a rivalry against the teams welded by political ideology.

    but when d.bakırspor play against any western teams it's happening quarrels both sides welded by politics.