Beşiktaş celebrates 110th anniversary at Inönü
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Honorary Beşiktaş Chairman Seba, who was at the helm during arguably the club’s most successful era, between 1984 and 2000, attended the occasion. AA photoLegendary chairman Süleyman Seba made a rare public appearance as Beşiktaş, Turkey’s oldest sports club, celebrated its 110th anniversary with a ceremony at İnönü Stadium on March 19.
The club’s management, players from a range of different sporting branches and thousands of fans celebrated the Istanbul club’s 110th birthday with a concert and fireworks.
In a speech addressed to the fans, club Chairman Fikret Orman pointed out that as “the oldest and greatest club in Turkey, Beşiktaş JK will continue to be a pioneer in Turkish sports for many more years to come.”
“Beşiktaş has the task of being the first in every field of sports,” Orman said. “We will continue to fulfill this task.”
Honorary Beşiktaş Chairman Seba, who was at the helm during arguably the club’s most successful era, between 1984 and 2000, attended the occasion, marking a rare return to the stadium after stepping down from the post. Orman welcomed Seba at the stands and kissed the former chairman’s hand in a symbolic gesture of respect. Orman also thanked Seba for “not leaving them alone on the Eagles’ special day.” Beşiktaş football team coach Samet Aybaba and Galatasaray chairman Ünal Aysal were also present at the stadium.
Orman thanked the board members of the club, which is currently facing a debt burden of 420 million Turkish Liras.
“I would like to thank, in your presence, the board members who are not afraid to shoulder responsibility under these difficult circumstances,” Orman said. “We will continue to celebrate the next 110 years with you, our supporters, who love black and white with all your hearts.”
The events included a march from the Beşiktaş district center to the celebration venue. When the clock struck 19:03, in a reference to the year of the club’s foundation, a fireworks, sound and light show lit up the evening sky.
Turkish superstar Ajda Pekkan appeared for a short concert.
Beşiktaş was originally founded as “Beşiktaş Bereket Gymnastics Club” in March 1903, under special permission from the authorities. It was later renamed “Beşiktaş Ottoman Gymnastics Club,” which became the first registered Turkish sports club on Jan. 13, 1910.
The Black Eagles are still called Beşiktaş Gymnastic Club (Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü) to this day, which accounts for the club’s acronym, BJK.
The club’s football team, its most popular branch, has won the Turkish Super League 11 times, most recently in 2009. The club also holds the national titles in men’s basketball and handball.