A big weekend in Turkish football

A big weekend in Turkish football

When politics become a bore, I find myself enjoying the thrill of football matches. 

Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor seem to have thrown in the towel. Trabzonspor especially has become a cause for big disappointment. The team has an attitude as if it did not even deserve to have made it to the final four. 

The remaining teams are Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe. Galatasaray comes forward with its enthusiasm, team play and energy. Fenerbahçe shines with its especially strong team and its foreign players.
If Galatasaray wins this game, it will not look back again and will reach the end. If Fenerbahçe wins, it will gain such an advantage that it will not let go of it easily. A draw, on the other hand, will boost the thrill and tension. 

The match on Sunday will make a significant mark on the Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe rivalry. 

If Galatasaray fans get down on the field and mistreat the referee and Fenerbahçe players, as happened at the Beşiktaş game, then games between these two teams will always end in a disaster. In the next game Galatasaray plays with Fenerbahçe in their stadium, there will be much greater chaos. We cannot get out of this vicious cycle. 

Applause for the Fenerbahçe lobby and fans 

Friends of Galatasaray may be angered by this, but we have to do justice by the Fenerbahçe community.

Let me ask you, which club’s fan community supports their team as marvelously as Fenerbahçe’s? I’m not talking about cheering from the stands. Which club’s rich supporter pays out of his own pocket to bring players worth millions to the team? 

Let me ask you, which team’s fans in the stands trust and believe what the club’s president [Aziz Yıldırım] says, and continue to support him as such? 

If it were Galatasaray, Beşiktaş or Trabzonspor, they would have forgotten him a long time ago…

This Fenerbahçe, to be sure, has changed a lot recently. In the past, they were like us. They changed over time and now we have a giant lobby there facing us. 

Emre is wasting himself 

Emre Belözoğlu is a player I have liked since he was young. His performance in recent years has been especially admirable.

However, once he is out on the field running after a ball, he transforms from Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde. 

Maybe he will get away with a penalty of two games for this lastest incident, on the grounds that it was not racism but insult. But if there is a repeat of this kind of incident, Emre will not be able to save himself. Even his team is fed up with him.

What is this xenophobia? 

I cannot understand why we are so afraid. 

When foreigners come and purchase land, when they buy apartments, [Turkish] society gets nervous. Primarily there is suspicion and concern. Discourse that runs along the lines of, “They are increasing in numbers, our land is slipping away from our hands,” becomes widespread.

The Parliament Justice Commission again restricted the amendment that regulates property sales to foreigners with the Title Deed and Cadastre Law. The most critical part of this motion is the amendment of an article to read, “Property sales to foreigners cannot exceed the limit of 10 percent of the downtown area of a district.” Again, fears came to the surface during the meeting. The opposition’s strange mentality that “They are selling the country’s land” obviously must have frightened the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) so much that they immediately took a step back. Again, a limit was introduced. This time, it was not limited only to 10 percent of the downtown area of a district, but to 10 percent of the entire area of a district. 

Again limitations, again concerns. What is it that a foreigner can do with the land or apartment he or she purchases? They cannot put it in their pocket and take it somewhere else. 

What is this lack of self-confidence? I cannot understand.