For those who cannot solve a problem without Prime Minister Erdoğan...
“You cannot even hand over a trophy without the prime minister.” Thus read the title of one newspaper column about the presenting of the trophy to Galatasaray on Fenerbahçe’s field following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intervention in the derby.
It is dead on the mark.
No one is able to take any initiative, and those who should exercise initiative refrain from putting themselves in jeopardy for fear of getting burned, either due to fear or cravenness. The ball then lands in the top court when everybody else avoids taking responsibility.
I might have taken it in stride if this were merely a habit of state officials. I might have said they behave that way to avoid getting themselves into trouble, but the attitude of the private sector is more or less identical.
The prime minister’s stance vis-a-vis the latest developments was, indeed, quite resolute.
Though we do not expect everyone to demonstrate the same audacity, we do expect official and private persons to fulfill the tasks that fall upon them.
Fenerbahçe deserves applause, too...
People carried Galatasaray on their backs, but we must not forget Fenerbahçe either.
I have always said and will say it again: The board was at no fault over Saturday’s incidents. I witnessed them.
To turn the other side of the medallion... They went through an extraordinary season, from their administrators to the technical team, and from the players to a section of their fans. They waged an epic struggle.
They let the most important members of their squad slip away from their hands, set forth with the remainder and fell into the midst of the match-fixing trial. Then they found themselves facing a re-invigorated Galatasaray but still persisted with their claim to victory all the way to the end.
I never accepted that Fenerbahçe’s championship in recent years was due to match-fixing, as they had no need for such a thing. The board also demonstrated exemplary behavior through their urbanity. A few thousand fans unfortunately brought everything to ruin, however. They could not even catch on to how much damage they incurred on their beloved club.
A most fundamental dysfunction of ours comes to light when we review May 12’s match and May 13’s incidents: Lack of preparation.
There were two prospective scenarios for this final.
Either Fenerbahçe would win the match and grab the trophy before its supporters without any incident.
Or Galatasaray would earn the trophy and surely face some backlash.
I took notice of how neither security forces nor the boards of Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray had made any detailed preparations. When I say “detailed,” I mean all the finest particulars from how the team would arrive at the stadium, how it would return and how the trophy would be handed over.
An unforeseeable commotion ensued. Disconnected voices began rumbling, and everyone from officials to lay folk stuck their noses into everything.
Rest assured, we should still be grateful that the affair came to a conclusion with only this much turmoil. Far graver incidents could have come about if our luck had run dry.
Are we not going to take a lesson from all this?
I doubt it.
Conspiracy theories and club devotion bordering on enmity
We are headed toward an extremely perilous point as a society. Action is required to correctly analyze these events that have been rocking the world of sports and to prevent their recurrence.
The rivalries between other clubs, and not just between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, are on the verge of turning into outright hostility. The causes behind this absolutely warrant an investigation.
Mutual mistrust of terrifying proportions has come to permeate the atmosphere.
Every development is being tailored to fit into conspiracy theories. Accusations are flying through the air regardless of whether they are based on concrete knowledge or not. Even the best tempered ones harbor skepticism about the other side’s intentions.
We have entered an extremely serious state of paranoia.
Another striking dimension of this whole affair is the sudden eruption of rumors among Fenerbahçe fans that “Fethullah Gülen made Galatasaray the champions.” These are not merely rumors, in fact, as they have even figured into spectators’ cheers.
Fancy that! Gülen decides from Pennsylvania that Galatasaray should be made champion, relays his message here and issues his directive.
This final match took a virtual snapshot of a Turkey that is fraught with conspiracy theories.