Tortured sports club at exhibition in Ankara
Dinamo Mesken was the only club in the history of Turkish football that was ordered to close because of its name, taken from Ukrainian Dynamo Kyiv.SALT Ulus in Ankara is presenting media artist Ege Berensel’s multi-screen video installation on the story of sports club Dinamo Mesken, established in the northwestern province of Bursa in 1975.
The exhibition traces the story of the Ertuğrulgazi Youth and Sports Club, also known as Dinamo Mesken, the only club in the history of football in Turkey that was ordered to close because of its name.
Dinamo Mesken took its name from Ukrainian football giant Dynamo Kyiv, which became the Soviet Supreme League champion several times in the 1970s, and won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1975 and 1986. Depending on interpretation, the club separated or combined politics and football to such an extent that it could bring together members of Dev-Genç (Revolutionary Youth, a Marxist-Leninist organization) and the Grey Wolves, the youth wing of the extreme-right Nationalist Movement Party.
After the Sept. 12 military coup in 1980, the name Dinamo Mesken was described as a “clear attack on national values” and the club was ordered to close. During this incident a number of the club’s administrators and players were detained, tortured, tried and sentenced.
Berensel’s multi-screen video installation explores how the amateur club and the social fabric of the area were affected by the current conflicts playing out in Turkey. Beyond this, his research touches upon many of the long-lasting effects of the Sept. 12 military intervention on social and urban structures.
He also follows the residents of Mesken, who many years later came together to re-establish their club, developing a broad archival presentation on football.
The exhibition will continue through March 14.