Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

No Joy In Mudville Tonight

The Curtain Falls on Turkey’s Amazing Run

All great things must come to an end…and so Turkey bows out of the Euro 2008 gracefully and proudly. I decided last night that I would stay above the fray and wouldn’t mention, or even hint at the disgraceful conduct of the officiating team in their refusal to call fouls against Germany. So if you are looking for someone to agree with you and say that there was an obvious bias against Turkey, you won’t find me giving it any airtime…even though your thoughts are well developed, perfectly justified and deserve to be heard. I simply won’t lower myself to the level of the officiating team. Now, if you were to press the point and force me to express my thoughts on this, of course I would agree with you, in fact, I couldn’t agree with you more than I already  do. However,  I am determined to stay far above that type of base Monday-morning “quarterbacking” and simply accept this for what it is…a great run to the semi-finals by the finest team in Europe or Asia.
As one of my dear Turk brothers said….S’tan, it is enough that we made it to the semi-finals…let’s thank Allah for that. What a graceful answer to a disappointing event.
I will bow to Ernest Thayer and his great words to bring closure to this years amazing, but disappointing run.

Casey at the Bat

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

“Phin” Ernest Thayer

The Fat Lady Sings for Turkiye!

Turks Celebrate in Kadikoy

Turks Celebrate in Kadikoy

Over the last few weeks Turkey has ridden a roller coaster of emotions as they have fought their way into the quarter finals and then tonight the semi-finals of the Euro 2008. Beating Croatia back from victory in the last minute of overtime to tie it up, Turkey outscored Croatia 4 -2 to win their seat in the semi-finals against Germany.
In the last two matches Turkey had not scored until the last few minutes of each game, somewhere in Istanbul tonight the Fat Lady Sang for the people she loves!

Simple Diplomacy

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It’s the small things in life that bridge cultures and continents. A quiet sunlit afternoon at the square adjacent to the Galata Tower turned into a rowdy futbol match as local kids challenged a visiting group of Asian tourists to a pick up game.
Balls whizzing, people ducking and old men yelling advice flushed spectators out from their shops and homes and a community came together for an hour…all due to a beat up ball getting whacked from boy to man and back again. Talk about grass roots diplomacy…we should bring home the suits and send these kids on the road.
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After the derby…

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Some BJK fans patrolling (!) in Istiklal Street…

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The hardcore fan group Çarşı is named after the Beşiktaş çarşı…

Before the game, have your meatballs in the famous meatball restaurant close to the Beşiktaş square. Damn it, i forgot its name but if you ask the place, i guess, people will show where it is. check out the walls:)
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On the right, lies the famous Kazan bar where many BJK fans stop by. And many more stand and drink on this square. This is from a previous game. Yesterday, it was unbearably full…
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oh i forgot to tell what this derby about: Beşiktaş vs. Galatasaray. Here is the derby news.

This is not Istanbul related but..

Our Turkish basketball team ’12 Dev Adam’ (12 Giants) will be playing during the basketball world championship in Japan and since Istanbul is in Turkey and this is the Turkish National team and that we HAVE TO support them, I’ll still be jotting down their game times and dates so that you can grab your popcorn and tune into NTV (or it’s healthier counterpart) and cheer/support/yell/scream for our team to win! (I know I will be!)

19th of August: 13:30 Turkey – Lithuania
20th of August: 10:30 Turkey – Australia
22nd of August: 13:30 Turkey – Brazil
23rd of August: 10:30 Turkey – Qatar
24th of August: 13:30 Turkey – Greece

“Uh ah dev adam oooonnnn iki dev adammm uh ah DEV ADAM!” (you gotta be singing that when watching them, it’s their theme!)

Let the Super League Begin!

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Turkish football league starts tomorrow. Turkcell, sponsor of the league, decorated Istanbul streets with a nice ad campaign. Unfortunately, the photos I took are not that nice…

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backing the wrong horse?

horse racing is a social need for modern society.k.ataturk

horses meant a lot for turkish people for centuries; once we were riding them all day long, now keeping up with the modern ways of life we prefer watching them from time to time. though some of us still all day long… according to the turkish jockey club around 30,000 citizens live on betting horses which needs clearly a basic instinct (meaning deep love for horses which i believe is embedded to the genes of some of “friend of ours”) and a total dedication to follow the news in the equestrian world.

here is the turkish jockey club providing info also in english about everything that concerns races, bettings, horses, stables, publications, relevant history, etc. and here is a humble suggestion for every foreigner to experience while breathing in turkish oxygen: do drop by “veliefendi hippodrome” some time to feel the power of one of the most beautiful creatures of mother nature and the real passion of turks instead of watching on tv half naked mares horsing around in summer time and turkish stallions on fire trying to tame them.

Rumors and celebrations..

Have you heard about the cab that got burnt down by Fenerbahce fans last night during the celebrations on the Asian side?
Have you heard that they were supposedly stopping every cab/car on the ‘Cadde’ and checking to see if there were any Galatsaray fans in them?
Where were you last night? Out celebrating with your friends or sleeping peacefully? Outside Ali Samiyen or in front of your tv, crying and having comfort food after you saw your favorite team lose the cup and hand it over to Galatsaray? (like AmericanTurk probably did..)
I myself was stuck in traffic behind Besiktas and Galatsaray fans, at 1 in the morning, trying to get home..Spectacular.
I need to admit that it scares me to see how violent the fans can get. I sometimes don’t understand how a whole country can be so passionate about 22 men running around in shorts after a ball but I’m still ecstatic that my team got the cup.
I promise this is my last entry on the subject ;)

And the winner is..

Galatasaray! In a game against Kayserispor Galatasaray won 3-0 and Fenerbahce lost against Denizlispor 1-1.
I’m having a hard time containing my joy! The streets are probably not a safe place right now though so you might want to stay at home, safe and warm, tucked in away from the trigger happy fans!

Bosphorus sailing competition

The quality isn’t the best because well..I used my mobile phone but it’s the thought that counts? :) Here is a sailing competition that took place on Sunday and that I was watching from my balcony.

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