Complex hosting Turkish football club’s new ground to be named after Erdoğan
Trabzonspor will settle on a new complex built on an artificial island in the Black Sea that includes a stadium with a capacity of more than 40,000 spectators.Trabzonspor may become the second Turkish football club after Kasımpaşa to have its home named after former Prime Minister and freshly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Often called Turkey’s “fourth big club” for long being the only club outside Istanbul to lift the league trophy, the Black Sea side is set to say farewell to the legendary Avni Aker to settle on a new complex built on an artificial island that includes a stadium with a capacity of more than 40,000 spectators.
The facilities were expected to be called the Akyazı Sporting Complex after the locality where it is being built, but city officials have insisted that such a monument should be honored by bearing the name of the Black Sea’s mightiest son and football aficionado, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“He is the one who has made this facility happen,” Trabzon Mayor Orhan Fevzi Gümrükçüoğlu said regarding the complex that cost 280 million Turkish Liras.
“The project was prepared in 2007. At the time, Erdoğan promised to change the law regarding coastal areas to enable the construction of the stadium and so he did,” said Gümrükçüoğlu, while revealing to what extent legal changes can be made in an arbitrary fashion.
Development, particular in terms of highways, along the Black Sea coast has been blamed for creating recurring flooding problems in provinces like Trabzon and Rize.
The proposal to name the complex Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was approved by the municipal council with a majority of votes and sent to the city’s cultural commission. Gümrükçüoğlu said it would then be submitted to Parliament for the final decision.
The city’s mayor said the name of the stadium would be chosen by the club, adding that Trabzonspor may choose to rent it to a sponsor. “This proposal it’s not for the stadium’s name, but for the name of the complex,” Gümrükçüoğlu said.
The personal affinities between Erdoğan and the club’s new chairman, İbrahim Hacıosmanoğlu, are no secret. Erdoğan even visited the team’s locker room last year to congratulate the players after a Europa League victory over Legia Warsaw.