Trabzon, Ankara and the lynch culture in Turkish football

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 25.04.2016 23:35

This week was supposed to be a crucial one in the Super League, given league leaders Beşiktaş and their archrivals Fenerbahçe both faced tough away games. Beşiktaş stumbled and dropped two points in a psychologically wearing game in the small Aegean town of Akhisar. Fenerbahçe, on the other hand, crushed Trabzonspor with a decisive performance and closed the gap between the two teams to three points, which was so important given Beşiktaş are going to play against another archrival Galatasaray and third placed Torku Konyaspor in the coming weeks. However, I wish this week had been all about the title race and football itself, even though the games were of a horrible quality. Unfortunately, this week will be remembered for the MKE Ankaragücü fans beating Amedspor executives and Trabzonspor fans storming the pitch and attacking the referees.

Firstly, the history of violence between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe grew more "diverse" and "colorful" after the notorious match fixing scandal in 2011. Trabzonspor, who lost the championship to Fenerbahçe, claimed that the real champions of the 2010-2011 season were them. Hence, almost every game in Trabzon between Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor has become a mini-civil war. Trabzonspor could not handle the pressure of being victimized and directed their energy into violence, not football.Amedspor, on the other hand, is being punished by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF). Their three points were taken off them because of some political chanting that the TFF observer heard during the game. Amedspor refused any claims of political connections or propaganda, and declared that they would withdraw from the league if anyone can prove the propaganda during the game.

After defeating MKE Ankaragücü in Ankara, Ankaragücü fans beat the few Amedspor executives who were in the stadium. This all happened in the heart of the capital city of the nation. Still, no one took enough security measures for Amedspor executives and the TFF security officials let Ankaragücü fans do the dirty job for themselves.

Here we have the two ends of the violent atmosphere in Turkish football, the violence of the victim and the violence of the bully. The victim should understand that his case will never be accepted and respected by the other until the violence stops. Furthermore, this narrative of victimization makes Trabzonspor neglect their present day problems and refer to the same issue whenever a crisis occurs. The future of Trabzon in under their great tradition of nurturing local youths and developing their talent.

Finally, the people who inflicted violence on the Amedspor executives should understand that football should not be a political tool to punish people. In contrast, Amedspor can be utilized to help people who are subjected to terror. The unifying power of football should never be forgotten. Otherwise, violence feeds radicalism and leads to even more violence, this time toward the bully.

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