Writing by Patrick Keddie
I am a journalist, author, and editor from the UK, based in Istanbul.
I have written for Al Jazeera English, Delayed Gratification, Feminist Times, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, the Irish Times, the LA Review of Books, Middle East Eye, The National, Open Democracy, and the Sunday Herald, among others.
I have also worked as a Deputy Online Editor at Al Jazeera English, and as a copy-editor at The Daily News Egypt and Egypt Today.
I have reported from Egypt, Gaza, Greece, India, Lebanon, Turkey, the UK, and the West Bank.
My focus is on political and social reportage. I have written about atheists in Egypt, sex toys, Westerners who fight against ISIS, Russian LGBT asylum seekers in the UK, gang-related attacks on Sudanese refugees, imprisoned journalists, ecological devastation and war in Gaza, female drug addiction in Egypt, grand dreams in the desert, the widows of Vrindavan, leopard attacks in the Mumbai suburbs, Palestinian graphic novels, photography, film, and much more.
Turkey is a nation obsessed with football. From the flares which cover the stadium with multi-coloured smoke and often bring play to a halt, to the ultras who conduct the ‘walls of sound’ at matches, Turkish football has always been an awesome spectacle. And yet, in this politically fraught country, caught between the Middle East and the West, football has also always been so much more. From the fan groups resisting the government in the streets and stands, to ambitious politicians embroiling clubs in Machiavellian shenanigans, football in Turkey is a site of power, anger, and resistance.
Journalist and football obsessive Patrick Keddie takes us on a wild journey through Turkey’s role in the world’s most popular game. He travels from the streets of Istanbul, where fans dodge tear gas and water cannons, to the plains of Anatolia, where women are fighting for their rights to wear shorts and play sports. He meets a gay referee facing death threats, Syrian footballers trying to piece together their shattered dreams, and Kurdish teams struggling to play football amid war. The Passion also tells the story of the biggest match-fixing scandal in European football, and sketches its murky connections to the country’s leadership. In doing so he lifts the lid on a rarely glimpsed side of modern Turkey.
Funny, touching and beautifully observed, this is the story of Turkey as we have never seen it before.