Suspect Device

Writing by Patrick Keddie

Why can’t Turkey qualify for the World Cup?

There is a famous panel from a Turkish comic that lampoons the typical plight of the country’s national soccer team. “So what happened? Is it impossible for Turkey to qualify now?” one … Continue reading

June 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Election Day for a Beleaguered Turkish Soccer Power

ISTANBUL — Ahead of an election on Sunday that could shape the fate of one of Europe’s most storied soccer clubs, the opposition candidate’s supporters packed a hall here. They … Continue reading

June 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

How football is saving the lives of Turkish girls in Malatya

Malatya is the world capital of apricots. Orchards full of stout apricot trees surround the Turkish city. On some downtown streets you can smell apricots on the breeze. There are … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Understanding Authoritarianism Through Soccer

In the 1970s, long before he became Turkey’s most powerful man, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a semi-professional soccer player. He played for IETT Spor—a team linked to Istanbul’s public transport authority—and … Continue reading

May 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Syrian football star caught up in revolution and forced into refuge

When the revolution broke out in 2011, Firas al-Ali was playing in Damascus for Al Shorta, and for the Syrian national team. “Society treated me like a superstar,” he told … Continue reading

April 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Greek game in crisis and Nottingham Forest’s Marinakis is at the heart of it

In 2012, an ageing, nondescript tanker was renamed Noor 1 and promptly became a so-called ghost ship, its routes no longer logged. After it was intercepted off the Greek coast … Continue reading

March 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

The New Greek Oligarchs’ Path to Power: Soccer

Most Greeks had never heard of Evangelos Marinakis before he bought the soccer club Olympiakos in 2010. Now there’s hardly anyone who doesn’t know him. On a wall overlooking the multicolored containers … Continue reading

March 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Fight is on to Save the Sounds of Turkey

For years, the cacophony of Istanbul’s Kumkapi fish market evoked happy memories of childhood for Pinar Çevikayak Yelmi. As a little girl she would wander around the stalls with her father … Continue reading

March 16, 2018 · Leave a comment

The 78-year-old rising star of Turkish music

At a church in Stuttgart, Germany, Gökçen Kaynatan was preparing to perform “Cehennem Yolu” (“Road to Hell”). It was suggested that anyone with a heart condition should leave. Then the … Continue reading

March 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Love songs of Turkish football

Many football chants are homages, jokes, vulgar comments regarding the opposition’s mums, and calling each other “sons of bitches” and suchlike. Yet, there is often also a poetic intensity to the … Continue reading

November 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Illicit football: The Black Stockings

Photographs of Fuat Husnu Kayacan show him dressed impeccably in an Ottoman tunic and fez, sporting a sharply waxed moustache, looking every bit a young man of the establishment. He attended … Continue reading

October 29, 2017 · Leave a comment
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