Thursday, November 04, 2010

Turkey October 2010


Bursaspor 1 Fenerbahce 1.

Green and white is everywhere in Bursa.
Flags, scarves and on the kerb stones.

The city has vibrant feel to it especially when a big team from Istanbul is in town

I took the ferry from Pendik, quite close to Sabiha Gokcen Istanbul airport, and then a bus, and another to get to the centre.

Along the way small dramas happen.
An elderly lady is ill on the ferry, a young boy is sick on the bus and, later, a cat runs across the pitch during the game.
Perhaps fortunately the cat was not black.

Bursaspor’s ground is centrally located, mainly covered, and it was close to capacity for this big match.
Inside the locals generated a warm welcome for Fenerbahce.

In the game Fenerbahce were better in possession with the orange-heeled boots and educated left foot of Emre prominent.

He would create the opening goal with a one-two and cross converted by Senturk.
Cue some aggression by the home ultras towards the away fans in their ‘cage’. The police soon stepped in.

The unbeaten home side equalised soon after the break, scoring from a corner.

As time progressed Fener continued to look more likely to win but Bursa had two good chances - both spurned by striker Sercan.
He would get a mixed reception when substituted.

So Bursaspor stay top of the Super League as they aim to retain their title.

I strolled back to my hotel via a typical local bar.
All male clientele, live Turkish music and everyone studiously ignoring the large no-smoking sign.

Eskisehirspor 0 Ankaragucu 0.

The bus from Bursa to Eskisehir takes well over 2 hours through valleys and mountainous areas.
Conveniently the stadium and train station are both close to the city centre.

And on this Saturday afternoon another good crowd, of around 15,000, turned out to watch this goalless draw between two mid-table teams.
No away ultras were present.

In an even contest the most interesting aspects (apart from the noise from the local ultras) were the long throws of Varol of Ankaragucu and the efforts of the big home striker, Karadeniz.

With some difficulty I’d eventually managed to get a ticket for the 18.00 train to Ankara which proved ideal timing.
The train, which can reach over 250 km/hour, was in the capital within an hour and a half.

Genclerbirligi 2 Manisaspor 0.

Ankara feels more like a ‘working’ city than Istanbul.
It doesn’t have the famous sites or the tourists, or indeed the hustlers.

But one place not to be missed is Ataturk’s mausoleum and the connected museum.
In it is described the history of modern Turkey and in particular the part played by its exceptional founder.

The 19 May (the date on which Ataturk began his campaign for Independence) Stadium
is easy enough to find being near the main train station and a large park.

Nearby a political rally was taking place.
Not too many from the rally went into the stadium to see the game.
Maybe they supported Ankaragucu, who share the ground.

So the 4,000 or so who did attend made it seem a low key affair.

The Manisaspor ultras did their best but their team, after the first 30 minutes, were second best.

Genclerbirligi scored through the German Calik in the first half and the Bosnian Zec, with a nice 20 yarder, in the second.

I took the metro back to my hotel and had some fısh and chips plus beer whilst watching Besiktas in the Sunday evening game.

No major drama as I was in Ankara when the bomb exploded in Taksim Square.



more pics at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/536814857

1 comment:

Carl said...

Wonderful peace of information about the Bursaspor’s ground which is centrally located, and also the information about the other grounds is really useful to know.

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