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Will Uefa spring another surprise?

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Dan Roan | 14:16 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

England's dreams of staging the 2018 World Cup will either be fulfilled or dashed in December when Fifa's executive committee decides which of the seven candidates to choose.

Yet that is not the only key decision being made about tournament venues this year. Next month, Uefa gathers in Geneva to announce which country will host the 2016 European Championship.

Uefa has already made one adventurous choice by awarding the 2012 event to Poland and Ukraine. Now it could be set to spring another surprise in the shape of Turkey.

Guus Hiddink is presented as the new Turkey managerNew Turkey boss Guus Hiddink is fully behind the country's 2016 bid

The Turkish Football Federation has hired Guus Hiddink to revive its fortunes on the pitch after missing out on qualification to the 2010 World Cup. His priority is getting Turkey to the Euro 2012. But the hope is that his arrival will also help support the nation's bid for Euro 2016.

Strolling along the banks of the Bosphorus, the melting pot of Istanbul seems a fitting home for this international man of management - and the high-profile Dutchman is fully behind the country's bid.

"This is where East meets West, where Europe and Asia come together," enthuses the former Netherlands, South Korea, Australia and Russia coach, who revealed to me that he had turned down an approach from Manchester City to come here.

"It's important to show the world that Turkey has also grown into a modern nation. This bid has some very serious management behind it."

Turkey is up against heavyweights Italy and France for the right to stage Euro 2016, which will feature 24 teams. But the ambition is clear.

The Ankara-based government is embarking on an £880m spending spree, intent on building six new stadiums and implementing a major overhaul of the 75,000-capacity Atatürk Olympic Stadium, where Liverpool famously beat AC Milan to win the Champions League final in 2005.

A visit to the cauldron that is Istanbul's atmospheric Ali Sami Yen Stadium leaves you in no doubt of the passion for football in this country, nor the investment going into the sport.

Galatasaray, Turkey's most successful club, are at home to Diyarbakirspor. Manager Frank Rijkaard barks orders from the touchline towards highly paid recruits like Lucas Neill, Milan Baros, Jo, Elano, and Giovani dos Santos. In the stands, the perennially injured Harry Kewell watches on.

"I was scared before I came here," admits Baros after scoring a fine hat-trick in his team's 4-1 victory. "But this is a really great country for football. There are always full stadiums. Even though the league cannot compare with England's, there is more quality and investment than ever, and the game is improving. Turkey has never staged the Euros, so the country deserves to win. I hope they get it."

One challenge Turkey still has to contend with is the poor reputation of its supporters.

Galatasaray fansGalatasaray fans welcome Chelsea to Istanbul in 1999

Memories of 'Welcome to Hell' placards during Champions League matches with English clubs linger on, while, 10 years ago, Leeds United fans Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight were stabbed to death in Istanbul on the eve of their side's Uefa Cup semi-final against Galatasaray. No-one has ever been brought to justice for the killings.

So does Turkey still suffer from an image problem?

"I remember 20 years ago, when I first managed here, matches between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe were huge clashes," says Hiddink. "They are still very passionate but a few weeks ago when I went to the derby there was no fighting. The people here are very warm-blooded but the violence of years ago has stopped. There are still one or two incidents and lunatics doing stupid things, but structurally it has changed."

Turkish Football Federation President Mahmut Özgene also insists behaviour has "much improved".

"If Uefa didn't trust us, they wouldn't have awarded us Champions League and Uefa Cup finals in recent years," he said. "This is a new region for Uefa and it will be a truly historic decision if they give us 2016, the most important decision they've ever made."

Turkey is also hoping to bid for the Olympics in 2020 as well as the World Cup in 2026. But, after two failed bids to stage the Euro finals, their hopes centre on 2016 for now. Uefa makes its decision on 28 May.

Concerns over Ukraine's preparations for Euro 2012 may persuade Uefa to veer towards the more conventional options of Italy or France. But as Fifa's decision to award a first World Cup to Africa proves, the sport is intent on expanding into new territories and new markets.

And there seems little doubt that this huge, Muslim country has a serious chance of success.

You can learn more of Turkey's 2016 bid on Saturday's Football Focus - BBC 1 at 1415 BST.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Lets just hope that Italy or France............or Luxembourg are chosen

  • Comment number 2.

    Good blog - Turkey would be an interesting choice but could they lose out due to being an Islamic nation due to the nature of some of UEFA's sponsors being alcohol companies

  • Comment number 3.

    Turkey will be great for atmosphere, but FIFA and UEFA are always harping on about our hooligan past, but seem prepared to ignore Turkey's hooligan present. Where's the logic in that.

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't think that a football tournament should be held in a country where visiting fans do not feel safe. Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight were normal football fans with loving families and respected jobs back in Leeds, they were not hooligans. These facts did not prevent them from being targetted, set upon, and murdered by Gala fans in Istanbul. Any reassurance that Turkey may take football violence seriously has dissipated as justice is yet to be done and the protagonists are free. This sends the message that English fans will not be protected in Turkey and gives the hooligan minority an excuse for "revenge" which is an extremely concerning recipe. I pray that Italy or France are chosen - surely Italy are owed the championships after being passed over for 2012?

  • Comment number 5.

    I'd hope that UEFA actually do the most sensible thing of all - give 2016 to Italy, and 2020 to Turkey.

    France hosted the 1998 World Cup, so they should be prepared to wait a while until it's their turn again. Giving Italy 2016 would massively accelerate the reforms and rebuilding work going on there and bring Serie A back up to the very highest standard.

    Awarding the 2020 tournament to Turkey allows the Turks the luxury of time that wasn't given to Ukraine and Poland and by then the stadiums and infrastruture will be top class. Perhaps UEFA should also allow Turkey to host the 2015 Under-21 Championship as a 'taster' of the big one. If Turkey can host both excellently, then that puts them in a very good position to host either the Olympics or World Cup.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think it would be great for turkey to host euro 2016 because there football is getting better and also there fans are proberly the greatest fans in the world.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think it's a disgrace that no-one has been brought to justice over the Leeds Utd fan killings!!

    Wait until they have built the stadiums and also wait until the fans are responsible and then let them host it.

    I take it all of the matches will be played on the European side of Turkey as if not then you may as well class it as a pan Europe-Asia Championship!!

  • Comment number 8.

    I believe Turkey got knocked back from joining EU a few years ago because of some human rights discrepencies? Why give the euro championships to a nation that will struggle to attract the average fan to it's shores due to it's reputation for hooliganism, and lack of protection to visiting fans.

  • Comment number 9.

    "UEFA are always harping on about our hooligan past, but seem prepared to ignore Turkey's hooligan present"

    PSG are currently playing in front of closed doors because of consistent crowd trouble. Italy has had its fair share of incidents in the recent past (the throwing of a flaming moped onto the pitch springs to mind).

    The point is, no where is entirely free of such trouble, its a question of how widespread it is. Although Turkey has had problems in the past, unlike England, it hasn't been exported so much.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    I remember when they said "Welcome to Hell Chelsea".....we beat them 4-0....

  • Comment number 12.

    Dan, I just registered to tell you that labelling Harry Kewell as "perennially injured" may have sounded nice but it shows your lack of knowledge of the Turkish league. He has scored 14 goals in 30 odd appearances this season, and had similar figures last season. He may have been injured this time, but he has alot of playing time in Turkey, otherwise do you think he would be a fan favourite? A little research may be necessary in future considering you tout yourself as highly knowledgeable.. Makes me wonder how easy it must be to become a paid blogger/pundit for the BBC...

  • Comment number 13.

    FIFA were prepared to give South Africa a chance, so why not Turkey. I personally hate the international game and wouldn't cared if they stopped both the Euro and World Cup, but I am a minority.

  • Comment number 14.

    Reags don't start mouthing off. Harry Kewell, as i'm sure any liverpool fan would testify, has been injury prone throughout his career. The term "perennially injured" most likely refers to Kewell in the context of his entire career, not just that in the Turkish league.

  • Comment number 15.

    #11, it was 5-0, and I remember the "Welcome to Hell" signs. Apparently, Galatasaray weren't as scary as their fans...

    As has been said on many WC forums and blogs regarding SA, there are going to be places you just don't go in pretty much any big city throughout the world. Sporting spectacles should be spread around the involved region as much as possible to give everyone the thrill of seeing quality international sports, and that includes the UEFA Championship and the World Cup.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Uncannycrayzeyes: Do not forget Besiktas stuffed Chelsea 2-0 in Stamford Bridge - it is only football!.

  • Comment number 18.

    I find some of the comments here not related to the gist of the article!.

  • Comment number 19.

    To ImagineReason: Then you do not know about Turkey & Turks if you believe what you have written!

  • Comment number 20.

    Personally, I would love Turkey to host the Euros as they have great fans, and the interest, money and time going into the tournament would probably far outstrip what Ukraine have done, which is use it as a political pawn.
    My only concern, however, is that by 2016 I think the Holy Muslim month of Ramadan may be around the time of the tournament, especially the latter stages. This would either mean no drinking or eating anywhere in public, which would surely upset fans, or going against the religion of the country, which I think is a highly unlikely outcome. But go Turkey!

  • Comment number 21.

    I find it absurd Turkey are being considered a venue for Euro '16 as it is debatable if their country is indeed in europe. I find it equally staggering that Israel too are considered a 'european ' side. Furthermore Turkey's fans are still pretty over the top in their 'passion' which Leeds fans very unfortunately experienced first hand and the Turkish police then decided to blame the murders on our behalf when it was obvious that the two victims were middle aged men with families. I would much rather see the competition go to a more conservative option eg. France/Italy rather than Turkey. It was the same for the WC 2010 which has so far proven a bit of a failure given that SA is so far away from anywhere and that FIFA have struggled to sell its tickets partly due to their cost and partly because I'm afraid SA is still quite an unstable place (2nd highest murder rate).

  • Comment number 22.

    I hope they do try to host it. But PKK and TAK will have something to say about it..

  • Comment number 23.

    Turkey may be an Islamic country but they have always kept religion and the state separate. Unlike middle-east countries they have a very relaxed approach to most things - just like the west.

    And I'd far rather watch the Euros in Turkey than in either Poland or Ukraine - both of which I know quite well and neither of which fill me with much joy!




  • Comment number 24.

    Heysel happened in 1985. English Hooligans went on the Rampage in Euro 92. England hosted the Euros in 1996. But 10 years (16 for the event) isn't long enough for water to pass under the bridge when it comes to Turkey. To some anyway.

    If Turkey can show UEFA it has curbed its Hooligan element, then they are worthy contenders to host the tournament. Good Luck.

  • Comment number 25.

    Ireland & Wales

    Ireland - Croke Park (82,000) + Aviva Stadium (50,000) + Páirc Uí Chaoimh (60,000 after redevelopment)

    Wales - Millennium Stadium (75,000) + Cardiff City Stadium (30,000) + Liberty Stadium (20,000)

  • Comment number 26.

    Some really silly comments on here... lets set some facts straight!

    Turkey has a secular government, it is not an Islamic state, like Iran for example. Religion and politics don't mix - end of story.

    People in Turkey drink beer, they drink all kinds of liquor too - the most famous been Raki! Don't worry, you can have a good pi*s up on Efes beer, and its advertised EVERYWHERE!

    The Turkish government are currently addressing the Armenian issue, in an attempt to settle past grievances - but remember there are 2 sides to every story.

    Yes Turkey and Greece have a History, but again, this is 2 sided. I know Turks who have been to Greece and vice versa, with no problems at all. Turks have done bad things, so have Greeks.

    Turkey is on the European plate, thus it is European! If you would care to check a map with the plates on, you will see this. It is a crossroads of culture, not a literal line in the sand!

    I am English and a Leeds fan, so i have bitter memories of what happened with Galatasaray. HOWEVER, i have traveled in Turkey for 4 months, and during this time only encountered hospitable, friendly, courteous, warm, loving people. This goes for the West and Eastern regions.

    This isn't to say there aren't any hooligans, there are. Things are improving though. BUT, like other posters have highlighted, there are these problems across most European countries. Poland and Ukraine certainly have hooligans and racists, as do France and Italy.

    I for one would be in favour of holding it there. Its nothing like South Africa. The crime rate is far lower, there are few murders in comparison and Turkey sees millions of tourists every single year. There are an abundance of hotels, good transport links, cheap flights and so on.

    Good luck to Turkey.

  • Comment number 27.

    I think the South Africa and the Poland/Ukraine bids have shown that sporting events shouldn't be awarded on the basis of sentimentality. They were/are both clearly not up to the task and have put their respective tournaments' credibilities at risk (although Poland have, to their credit, upheld all their share of the commitments).
    So, if Turkey is indeed deemed to be fit and ready to host a European Championships, then judge them on equal terms to the other candidates and make the decision based on who will provide the best return on investment, not who will make the most headlines.

  • Comment number 28.

    Only 3% of Turkey is in Europe. Maybe they could play with 0.33 players in any UEFA sanctioned tournament?

  • Comment number 29.

    Phil #26

    Plates aren't really relevant. Do North-Western Icelanders (yes, topical!) view themselves as American because they are on that side of the Mid-Atlantic ridge?

  • Comment number 30.

    Nick,

    You are right plates seem irrelevant. But it is also irrelevant that '3% of Turkey is in Europe'. Turkey is allowed to participate in the competition, and therefore has equal right to bid on hosting it.

    If you want to suggest Turkey should not be allowed to compete in the competition because it is not actually in Europe, well, that is a different question.

  • Comment number 31.

    Ok, so how do you define European? Please explain. Religion? Race? What? Armenia is East of Turkey and its considered European, as is Georgia, the oldest Christian nation on Earth. Geaorgia's archtecture is also incredibly European. I have spent time in all these countries.

    Egypt is called African but it is a Middle Eastern country in all but its geographical location.

    Large portions of Turkey are VERY European in feel. Religions include Islam, Christian, Zartush etc. Its a multi cultural country with a large number of Kurds in the East.

    Its geographical location according to the plates is clearly relevant to UEFA as they are put in the European group, and rightly so.

  • Comment number 32.

    Why is only 3% of Turkey in Europe? I REALLY don't get that statement? Who 'claims' this fact? Im intrigued. Where was this information obtained from? Who says which town is or isn't European? Is there a line somewhere drawn around 3% that i've just been missing on the map?

    Turkey ARE part of UEFA, therefore they are entitled to hold it if UEFA see fit. End of story

  • Comment number 33.

    OK. Yes, I think Turkey should not be allowed to host ANY UEFA events. The country is not - by any definition I can find - European.
    I'm sure that anyone who deals with Turkey in a business way will agree that it depends if your brother-in-law's next door neighbour is working in Customs today will determine if your shipment will get through today...

  • Comment number 34.

    Phil, why is only 3% of Turkey in Europe...? Well, that's the way the world was born... Sorry, can't change it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Phil,

    The boundaries of Europe and Asia are certainly contested by all sorts of people, for all sorts of reasons. Surely you know this? You have even probably heard some people use the term 'Eurasia' because some geographers dispute the idea that asia and europe are separate continents.

    Your point that 'Turkey ARE part of UEFA, therefore they are entitled to hold it if UEFA see fit. End of story' is really the only thing that matters here.

  • Comment number 36.

    Turkey should be expelled from UEFA. They are NOT European.

  • Comment number 37.

    Sorry but plates and geography, nor political and international boundries don't matter.
    Australia qualified for the World Cup out of Asia, New Zealand out of Oceania ( via Bahrain ). Australia moved Associations only a few years back.

    The regional governing bodies let in who they want, for what they want.

  • Comment number 38.

    It really is sad to read some of the "ignorant" comments here about Turkey, but not totally surprising really!! It's really sad that a sport which stands and prides itself for being "above" politics, race, nationality, creed, racism, etc, but which the fans doesn't seem to understand!!!

    Everyone knows what Turkey is about, it has internal problems but which country doesn't?? Stop being so ignorant and xenophobic!!

    I really hope UEFA makes the correct decision and awards Euro 2016 to Turkey, otherwise they will "politicised" football!!

    I've travelled to Turkey many times and found it to be one of the nicest country in the world - really friendly people, great weather, fantastic cusine, virtually crime-free, and absolutely amazing sceneries!!

  • Comment number 39.

    From a German:

    Over here just about everyone interested in international football supports England for 2018: England is a football great, has terrific stadiums, solid infrastructure, and (given hooligans are kept under control) positively vibrant spectator crowds. Last but not least, after so many yeary since '66, it just is England's turn.

    As for EUROS, there is no point in arguing over Turkey. Turkey is not Europe. Never will be. Will never enter the EU either. They do not fit in.

    The number of people who feel the same is overwhelming. And it is growing fast. In Germany and even more so in other countries (e.g. Austria, France, Italy, Netherlands).

  • Comment number 40.

    So, Turkey were a founding member of the COUNCIL OF EUROPE in 1949 - probably suggests they are European.

    If they have sorted out the hooligans this puts them above Italy and France in my book as both of them still have major problems.

  • Comment number 41.

    Nick, are you just trying to upset Phil? Seems like it to me. And it seems to be working.

    Phil, just let it go. Stop biting and giving him the pleasure.

    Turkey have every right to host the euros. I think they will be great hosts. A great country I have visited. Passionate football fans.

  • Comment number 42.

    And the 2 Leeds fans that were killed, it goes without saying - a terrible, terrible tradgedy. But you have to remember they were killed by LOCALS that were upset by football fans urinating on the Turkish flag and not Gala FANS. Important point, I think.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 26 Phil

    Wow thank you so much, you are one of the few people on here with a brain.

    Let me start by saying I am a born and bred Londoner (Chelsea supporter since pre-Abramovich days) but my blood is Turkish. Therefore I feel I am the perfect match for contributing to this discussion. So many ridiculous misconceptions here. The vibe I get is that you people are deluded on your high horses, and falsely believe you are much more educated than the backwards Turks. Let me destroy these misunderstandings one by one.

    Firstly those who are talking about the "Islamic" nature of Turkey. As Phil said Turkey is culturally Islamic, just how England or most of Europe is culturally Christian. Let us get this straight. The majority of Turks are Muslim. 99% of the time ask a Turk their religion and they will reply Islam (I am Atheist btw). However identification does not correlate with practice.

    When I was a Muslim I didn't pray or restrict my life in any fashion. I ate Big Macs and sweets with pork gelatine. I drank. The only thing I followed was not eating actual pork (which I still don't lol). When I became an Atheist nothing changed in my lifestyle. The only thing that was different was I didn't think of their being a god. This is how it is with so many Turks, particularly my (the younger :P) generation. They are Muslim but they live life to the full just like their European counterparts. In fact I probably see more headscarfs amongst British Muslims than Turkish girls.

    Somebody mentioned evolution. This is a contentious issue yes, but don't misunderstand and think of the crazy fundamentalists in the USA or Middle East. Many Turks are against evolution yes. My cousin for instance, she is very forward thinking, wears open Western clothing. She told me how religion should be a private matter between a person and God. I find I hear this often amongst Turks.

    Yes there are crazies in Turkey, where the hell aren't they! But in all honesty there are more fundamentalists in the UK than in Turkey. Which is amazing to think about, but I assure you, Turkey, a Muslim majority nation (not Muslim nation, the laws are secular) has less Islamic fundamentalism, than England a Christian majority nation.

    Hooliganism. Turkey has cleaned up their image. The people talking about Turkish hooliganism as if it is in the present are still thinking of the Leeds fans. That was 10 years ago! Would it be fair of me to judge English fans by the 70s/80s?

    On the subject of the Leeds fans who died. Part of the fault lied with some Leeds fans. You don't go to a foreign country, particularly a very nationalistic one and wipe your behind on the money with the founder on and cause a nuisance in public. I'm not excusing the behaviour of the idiotic element among Cimbom (Gala) fans, particularly the murderers, but please understand where I am coming from in this argument. Don't tell me things wouldn't go haywire here if a foreign team wiped the banknotes with the Queen on their behinds and caused a public nuisance. I don't like this partisan argument of those Turks causing trouble and the other side not getting a hearing.

    European identity. Turks honestly are more European than Middle Eastern. Make no mistake. Many of my Muslim friends here in the UK from other ethnic backgrounds are shocked when I tell them how unreligious Turks are, they think Turkey is religious just like them. We can go into semantics like 3% of Turkish land being in Europe and what not, but Turkey is a special case in this debate.

    Racially too, although not important, I feel I must point out how many white looking and therefore stereotypical European looking Turks there are. The guy Guus Hiddink with is the head of the Turkish FA, are you telling me he is not European? There are also many non-white looking Turks too as in the picture of Gala fans, but don't tell me there aren't plenty of non-white looking Europeans in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. Me personally I am a olive skinned, dark curly haired, clearly foreign looking here in England. But my sister is white skinned, gray eyed and brown haired, no one would ever guess her to be Turkish. The cousin I mentioned a few paragraphs earlier, she has blonde hair. Her only time outside of Turkey was a schooltrip to Poland and guess what she got mistaken for? Chelsea, my team, have a Turk from Germany in the youth ranks who is a freckled red head! Anyway, race is obviously not important, but I felt it had to be mentioned with regards to Turkey's European/Asian identity crisis.

    To put in plain and simply. Turks view the Middle East, just as English people do.

    I have rambled on, but I hope I can get across the true Turkey. To me it seems as if most people view Turkey just like Iran or an Arab nation, which is a disgrace because Turkey is anything but that. Turks view the Middle East just as English people do believe it or not.

    I look forward to a healthy debate with everyone and I hope I can get some fellow Turks (particularly from the UK like myself) to back me up.



  • Comment number 44.

    Nice weather and good food are of course ravishing arguments for favouring Turkey. Congratulations ! (Oxford? Cambridge? Harvard ? - or Istambul?)

  • Comment number 45.

    Turkey are no modern nation, they arent even part of the EU because of some of their political "policies". Sorry but just because they have held a few finals in the last few years and have a few big names speaking on their behalf does not give them the right to be in with a shout for this tournament. The atmosphere is top notch but how good will it be when Turkey are dumped out, will it get nasty??

    Lastly, they should get out of Cyprus and leave what is not theirs alone!

  • Comment number 46.

    having been to Istanbul in 2005 and saw the way the Turks are when none of their teams are involved in the match your there for and witnessed their hospitality and witnessing their knack of selling you something that you dont want i was`nt particulary worried,But looking back at the sad and needless deaths of the two Leeds boys i realise how different things might have been.

    Any norhern European country with a strong following would have to play them in Attaturk which is in the middle of a wilderness and the only way there and back is through Istanbul and thats were the problems would undoubtably occur.


    I cant believe the football authorities would even consider the country with the most documented human rights abuse and the country where present day hooliganism is as strong as it was here in the bad old days.

  • Comment number 47.

    rom a German:

    Over here just about everyone interested in international football supports England for 2018: England is a football great, has terrific stadiums, solid infrastructure, and (given hooligans are kept under control) positively vibrant spectator crowds. Last but not least, after so many yeary since '66, it just is England's turn.

    As for EUROS, there is no point in arguing over Turkey. Turkey is not Europe. Never will be. Will never enter the EU either. They do not fit in.

    The number of people who feel the same is overwhelming. And it is growing fast. In Germany and even more so in other countries (e.g. Austria, France, Italy, Netherlands).

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    @Gerryo

    What a ridiculous and ignorant remark. You claim that Turkey will never fit? What's your reason? Germany had no problems fitting in after 1945, and went on to win the first world cup in 1954.

    Turkey is a member of UEFA, with Galatasary winning the UEFA Cup in 2000 with penalties against Arsenal in the final. Fenerbache (against whom Rooney scored a hatrick in 2004) and Bekistas have been regular participants in the Champions League. Turkey famously finished 3rd place in the 2002 WC at Japan/Korea. So why should they be denied a fair opportunity to host a Euro tournament. Dude, you need to get off your high horse and be accepting and knowledgable of other cultures. Turkey is a great footballing nation and would be in the top 8 in terms of top leagues in Europe.

    Gerrio's comment is more ignorant, when you find that lots of Turk players ply or have plied their trade in Germany with some even considered for the Nationmannschaft. Altintrop also plays for Bayern Munich and came on for Ribery in the recent CL match against Man Utd. Turkey has produced great players known to English fans too, like Emre, Alpay, Tuncay, etc.

    Turkey has a right as any other UEFA nation to table a bid to host. It definitely has the stadia and infrastructure. Football is a global event, how can it grow if restricted to a few countries.



  • Comment number 48.

    Many of you are saying that you have travelled to Turkey and it's been fine but that wasn't football related. I do believe they should be given a chance but not straight away with something like an international tournement. Give them something smaller first, a cup final, let them earn the trust back. And for the 2 stabbings, yes they were causing a nuisense, Alex Furguson does my heading yet I don't attempt to stab him.

  • Comment number 49.

    Football has been politicised, we now have rascist nationalist passport quotarising 6 plus 5 that will fundamentally change football, lower the standards and limit the choice and skill standard, of a manager to create his own team. The effect on the youthful supporters will be to make them more nationlist, more aware of someone's skin colour or their ilk, nothing to do with football. Turkey refuses to recognise Cyprus and we're trying to draft a document that will make Turkey an EU member without having to admit that they don't recognise an EU member. Meanwhile the Premiership title is effectively decided by a Chelsea offside goal at Old Trafford whilst we can't manage to grow grass in a billion pound stadium in the country that invented the game and is a favourite to host the world cup! Turkey is a country poorly equipped and ramshackily built to deal with the potentially major catastrophic fault line earthquake that Istanbul straddle ! If it all sounds a little nonsensical and farcical, that's because that's exactly what football has now become, what we really need now is for Portsmouth to beat Chelsea in the FA cup final just to bring us down to earth, now where's that raki ?

  • Comment number 50.

    What come first, the Turkey or the Country ?

  • Comment number 51.

    both Italy and France have hooligan problems, so I don't think Turkey would be any different to letting them stage it. The lunatic element in every European country froths at the mouth with the thought of England fans arriving because of your hooligan past and the fact that with the English national team there is still a hooligan fringe that is ready to ignite "for Queen and country". Turkey, while being a muslim country is actually a secular government and has prided itself on being a muslim country with a seculkar government. As far as I'm aware, the fact that its a Muslim country hasn't stopped millions of holidaymakers from drinking alcohol while on holiday there. It may be different in the big cities, I don't know

  • Comment number 52.

    When ever Turkey comes up in the news there is always a good heated debate.
    A couple of points always arise.
    1. A lot of people that contribute their wonderfully brave option actually know very little about the country, use boring and totally invalid arguments. Turkey is a part of europe like it or not, has been & will continue to be etc!
    (Cyprus which is in the EU & has no European land mass for instance)
    2. Thousands of european matches have & are being played inside Turkey yet the only incident any one can mention is the tragic Leeds incident. If anyone can identify others please contribute.
    3. The same year Leeds fans visited Rome a very similar incident occurred, thankfully it did not result in two death
    4. The victims were not killed by GS supporters. It was not a premeditated soccer related incident between two sets of fans.
    5. 2 European finals have been played in Istanbul in the last 5 years, both have past without incidents & 1 is maybe the greatest final that has ever been played. (the Ataturk stadium is currently being upgraded in a major way)

    These are a few points there are more but I guess that you get the point!
    Before expressing an option I think that it's best to be informed maybe it would be helpful to study the bid & then post your comments?

  • Comment number 53.

    This is such a pointless debate. Whether Turkey should or should not host it is completely irrelevant. Because they will not host it, anyway.
    Given the delays, uncertainty and lack of political support in Ukraine, they will not want to even think about risking two failures in two consecutive tournaments.
    Plus, it will keep everyone happy.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm English and for the last 5 years lived in Turkey. I have been to more Turkish AND English club games than (I suspect) any other Brit posting on this site. I think Turkey has a very good case. As ever, when Turkey is discussed, I am amazed at the xenophobic mis-information that abounds. It saddens me that racism is alive and well in the English psyche.

    Anecdotal I know but I went to a match between Besiktas and an English premier team. Besiktas lost easily and the English team were applauded off. Before the game they awarded the Besiktas women's basketball team the national trophy they had just won and the team did a lap of honour. I have the advantage that I speak both languages. The Turks were respectful throughout. The English fans were embarrassing with the masogonist, sexist chants.

    Turkey would host a fantastic tournament - it would be very well organised and well supported. There would be absolutely no trouble from Turkish supporters. Anyone who has been to Turkey will know how proud they are as a nation and no Turk would bring shame on his country by causing trouble when the eyes of the world are on Turkey.

    My only reservation is an infrastructure question. Turkish football is very Istanbul centred. All the best stadiums by a long way are in Istanbul. Anywhere you go in the country (except Trabzon) people support one of the big three teams from I'bul (even worse than Man Utd and Chelsea in this country). A lot of work is needed for the regions to be able to host international games.

    Good luck to Turkey. I have much more faith in Turkey putting on a good and safe tournament than Italy or France.

  • Comment number 55.

    First of all I want to say that lots of European countries have hooligan problems, secondly alcohol companies have sport teams in Turkey like Efes Pilsen and we don't remember any problems about this sponsor - ship.
    All of the Liverpool supporters must rememeber their Champions League Final victory in İstanbul. Was there a problem about our hospitality or something else? You must be unprejudiced towards Turkey. Lastly remember that we are a member of UEFA

  • Comment number 56.

    I hope they get it. I reckon a jolly to Turkey would be fun.

  • Comment number 57.

    Nick - Are you voting BNP?

  • Comment number 58.

    jchubeta: I wonder what you talk about when you are in a pub or somwhere socializing!. There are almost 5 million Turks scattered throughout Europe and majority of them are making damn good contributions to whereever they live; economically and cultrally & socially!. Your comments are pathetically jingoist, racists and full of ignorance!. I think, the likes of you need to learn a lot!

  • Comment number 59.

    "This sends the message that English fans will not be protected in Turkey and gives the hooligan minority an excuse for "revenge" which is an extremely concerning recipe".. Congratulations for your genius thoughts !! By referring to past , you proved your thesis!!Ok, let s take a look at the history together.2009--2000---1995--1990--89-88-87-86-85-84..Oops 85?
    Does this year remind you of something??
    * Rocco Acerra (29)
    * Bruno Balli (50)
    * Alfons Bos
    * Giancarlo Bruschera (21)
    * Andrea Casula (11)
    * Giovanni Casula (44)
    * Nino Cerrullo (24)
    * Willy Chielens
    * Giuseppina Conti (17)
    * Dirk Daenecky
    * Dionisio Fabbro (51)
    * Jaques François
    * Eugenio Gagliano (35)
    * Francesco Galli (25)
    * Giancarlo Gonnelli (20)
    * Alberto Guarini (21)
    * Giovacchino Landini (50)
    * Roberto Lorentini (31)
    * Barbara Lusci (58)
    * Franco Martelli (46)



    * Loris Messore (28)
    * Gianni Mastrolaco (20)
    * Sergio Bastino Mazzino (38)
    * Luciano Rocco Papaluca (38)
    * Luigi Pidone (31)
    * Bento Pistolato (50)
    * Patrick Radcliffe
    * Domenico Ragazzi (44)
    * Antonio Ragnanese (29)
    * Claude Robert
    * Mario Ronchi (43)
    * Domenico Russo (28)
    * Tarcisio Salvi (49)
    * Gianfranco Sarto (47)
    * Amedeo Giuseppe Spolaore (55)
    * Mario Spanu (41)
    * Tarcisio Venturin (23)
    * Jean Michel Walla
    * Claudio Zavaroni (28)
    Do you know these names?They were happy , they had families and they were killed brutally as well.Does this mean that Italian fans should not come to England regardless of improvements that are made??And, as a result ; Does not England deserve to be 2018 host country because of its bloody football history?

  • Comment number 60.

    Ditto comment 54.

    I am also an Englishman living in Turkey for 4 years and I can speak the language, which helps enormously of course. Some of you are talking nonsense here - and I bet you are the ones who have never been to Turkey.

    I would absolutely love the Euros to come here, it would be a great party. And I would make Turkey the favourites to host it because they have never had a major tournament before.

    The people are warm and friendly, casual violence almost zero (unlike Britain), and alcohol freely available - even in Ramadan). I have been to the Istanbul derby, plus in the home end of the Champions League QF without any problems at all. If you treat the country and people with respect you will have a great time there.

    There are an awful lot of misconceptions about Turkey and I hope they can host this tournament to prove the doubters wrong.

  • Comment number 61.

    I wish Turkey couldn't get the opportunity to have 2016. It's pretty obvious they are twisted while saying armenian genocide discussion, leave to historian thesis on the other hand, they are even killing discussing the issue, e.g. Hrant Dink

    The other thing is there is a low level war in the east of Turkey. I think everybody knows PKK and both sides are acting towards each other brutally. So, Turkey, please leave Europe alone together with your fundemantalist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

  • Comment number 62.

    It's quite shocking how little some people here know about Turkish football and still make comments about hooligans and such that are so misdirected. Least we forget Millwall/West Ham recently??

    Fact is we have changed alot in Turkey. Much of the hooliganism has been pushed out of football, although like other countries (including England) it's hard to totally get rid of it.

    As for the fans, well I'm sorry but anyone who goes to or watches Turkish matches will tell you the fans are some of the best in the world. Fans show up around the grounds at noon for 8pm kick offs :) They enter the grounds a whole hour or two before to start for singing and banter. They rarely turn on their team, I think Liverpool can testify to this, Besiktas fans carried on singing and chanting to the very end of the match when they lost 8-0 (8-1 was it?) not so long ago. As you can see, many traits I'd like to see in English football actually.

    As for the grounds and such, there have been a few new grounds built in Turkey recently and have been approved by UEFA. Unlike Poland/Ukraine 2012 their won't be delays or lateness, recent building projects all over Turkey have been very good, on budget and pretty much on time. Although I do admit much of that work has been done in the west, this is the kind of national project that can also inject some cash into the north and east.

    As a side note, I feel some of the posts here had a underline hate directed at Turkey for being a Muslim country, once again, shocking how many people in England have a BNP spokes person living inside them, but also sad :(

  • Comment number 63.

    Wow thanks a million to the Englishmen who live in Turkey commenting, the opposite of what I am (except I was born here :P). You guys are absolutely amazing.

    @ #54 withesshin82

    What you say about the Besiktas Womens basketball team is perfect. Turkish Muslim girls not wearing headscarves parading around a stadium filled mostly with young Turkish Muslim lads. Yet they don't make any wolf whistles or sexist chants. Thanks for mentioning this, I will definitely use this as an example when breaking stereotypes about Turkey in the future.

    Of course the stereotypes would have it that Turks are perverts and what not, sexually starved due to their religion and the women shouldn't be showing off in a public place! But like you say which fans were chanting rude things?!

    @ #61 jazz

    You are Turkophobic, plain and simple. Regarding the Armenian issue, you sound like you think Turkey is like Communist Russia or something? Far from it, it actually is possible to discuss such matters in Turkey openly. The media will never give you a good impression ok, like me or the others you have to actually have been in Turkey to understand these things.

    About Erdogan, you make it sound like we are Iran or Saudi Arabia. Fundamentalist? Look I don't like the guy, but he is not as bad as he is made out to be.

  • Comment number 64.

    @ # 62 RavenZahadoom

    The funny thing is that Turkey isn't like the stereotypical Muslim countries (not that is excuses the Islamophobia), so it makes them look even more like idiots! Bashing Turkey for having problems with Islam is like bashing England for having problems with Christianity. Senseless!

    Our fans are absolutely amazing I know (I'm Turkish but from London). I have watched so many videos on Youtube. I would love to go to a game one day. I went in 1999 to a Galatasaray match, but I was too little, I didn't like football back then (Gala are my Turkish team though, but I want Bursa to win it tbh :P)

    Chelsea atmosphere can be good (Particularly later today, I am going to our big derby game at Spurs :P) but wow, nothing compared to the Crazy Turks!

    Also to further clarify the point, would an Islamic country really allow its people to love football more than religion? I think I rest my case.

  • Comment number 65.

    I have lived in Turkey and can testify to the warmth, the friendliness of the people in that country. It was a very secular nation when I was there, the 'melting pot' that comprises Turks is true and whilst they are proud, nationalistic and passionate, this comes out in a very good way.

    But sorry Turks, I don't want you to get this honour. As much as I would love to actually see it happen and the Turkish people receive the recognition that they are as modern, forward thinking and welcoming as anywhere in Europe, I want the issue in Cyprus to be resolved before anything. Not to say that Turkish Cypriots never had legitimate complaints and there was fault on both sides but Turkey needs to start meeting with Cyprus (not those intefering Greeks) to resolve the North Cyprus problem first.

    Divided nations, divided cities only bring more hate.

    Btw - I fully support Turkey against using the example of the two Leeds fans. It wasn't that long ago that Rangers fans rioted in Manchester, the Ultras clash in Rome, English fans in Germany etc. Only recently my own club had someone die (not thankfully violence related). Turkey has moved its past on and should be allowed a chance.

    And also Turks have had a strong community in Germany for many years, I see the Turkish identification as being much more European than Asian (having visited, lived and travelled in and around the Middle East). They are as much 'European' as Israel, Cyprus, Russia anywhere else.

    Anyhows - is it not time to get rid of the Euros and move the World Cup to every two years ;)

  • Comment number 66.

    @ #65 Rover

    Yes that is how you make an argument against Turkey hosting, thanks for the compliments.

    Naturally I don't feel it is an issue that should determine whether or not we hosts. Politics are in one place, sports are in one place.

  • Comment number 67.

    #52 You are bang on. I follow Leeds home and away domestically and in Europe. I was in Rome when we drew 0-0 and were stalked by the Roma ultras before and after the game. There were 7 stabbings i believe, and thankfully no fatalities. This has happened at MANY Italian games involving British teams. The deaths of Chris and Kevin should not have happened in Istanbul, but they did. The Turkish government really should punish the offenders - but lets not forget, we are always condemning politics and football mixing when it suits us. Well, these deaths are now down to the gvnt to sort out. Whilst Leeds fans will never forget, we also have to move on in terms of how we view Turkish people and the Turkish nation. So many posters are just racist bigots, who have never set a foot in Turkey and only read some bias BBC or CNN site. Turkey has far more infrastructure than Poland/Ukraine and if they win the 2016 bid, i for one will be re-visiting one of my favourite countries on the planet (and ive been to over 70)

  • Comment number 68.

    I have spent some time in Turkey, and believe they could very well stage a decent tournament. I also speak some Turkish and know the culture/history somehow - more than most on these boards, apparently.

    The two most amusing responses here are from that German guy and the Greek Orthodox guy. Do not judge Turkey as a country by the standards of your muslim minorities. There would be proportionally much more religious (and other) troublemakers anywhere amongst minorities than in Turkey itself. As for the Greek guy: I'm pretty sure all the Greek fans would be perfectly safe, as long as they could at least pretend to be decent. But as I picture fans of, say PAOK Thessaloniki marching thru Istanbul, I cannot help but wonder which side would be the one to start trouble. Because Greek fans themselves have absolutely pristine reputation, right?

    That said, I think Turkey won't get it and I would like to see them go for 2020. There are still some troubles in the country (southeast), plus some unresolved political issues (not least a minor resurgence of political Islam) that could be well over by the end of the decade. I'd also like to wait how the recent machinations surrounding the army turn out before planning a major event like this. I think Turkey just has other, more important stuff to tackle by 2016. But hey, so did Ukraine.

  • Comment number 69.

    @2 - Turkey is a secular country. They even produce their own beer called Efes.

    @21 - Israel are not considered a European side. They are considered a side from the middle east who, thanks to certain political issues, are playing in Europe. But there is not one mention in this article about Israel or indeed their desires to host a European Championships, so I don't see why you are mentioning them.

    @36 - Nor is Cyprus. Nor is the vast majority of Russia. Nor is Mexico when it competes in the Copa Libertadores and nor is Australia when it qualified for the current World Cup.

    I really love Turkey as a nation and its people. Its a country that loves football and sadly those who see the incidents in Istanbul when the derby games comes around should heed the facts that;

    a) The police year on year have probably most efficient way to deal with the hooligan problem (which is only ever at its most puerile in the Istanbul derby.) In contrast to Italy and France which only seems to aggravate the problems amongst hooligans. The Leeds incident, as tragic as it was, happened ten years ago and during which time many English sides have played in Turkey with minimal trouble.

    b) Istanbul does not represent the rest of the country. In places like Izmir, Bursa, Anakara, Antalya you will find very passionate football fans who don't resort to chasing foreigners down back streets with a machete.

    It amuses how many people like to slam Turkey and its football purely by basing their facts on what they see during a derby in the capital. Its laughable. And would never wash if the same was applied to the UK. Yes there are political issues that need to be resolved but these have never stopped it getting in the way of football (both Armenia and Turkey played each other in the WC qualifiers for example with both Presidents sat side by side in the stadium despite disagreements about the genocide issue.)

    I'm behind it. UEFA needs to spread the game out. They are clearly capable after the wonderful successes of the UEFA Cup final last year and CL final before that.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    70 & 71 are the strangest (maybe even laughable) posts, I read in a while. Talk about having a chip on your shoulder! Mate get a life and stop taking the drugs there doing you damage.
    If you look hard enough you can find similar incidents in most countries round the world. (try Ukraine for an example)
    We are talking about football on this page, Do You Understand???

  • Comment number 73.

    El-Turco,

    You seem bit of an apologised, i think there is a certain name for you -"Uncle Tom"!! Obviously you haven't travelled to Turkey to understand how it functions!! Just like those ignorant of Turkey, You also seem very happy to join the "Middle-East bashing", i'm sure you've never travelled there??!! You seem a typical hypocrite!!

    Turkey just like any other country just wants to be "Turkey"; just like Italy wants to be "Italy"; France wants to be "France"; England want to be "England", etc!! And it seems to me that people expect Turkey not to be Turkey but some other country - probably subservient to some countries!! The fact is part of Turkey falls in Europe, and competes in all european sports not just football, so the argument in football terms means they have the right to stage the Euro 2016!!

  • Comment number 74.

    ok, forget about human rights or so, let's talk about football
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    As I said you would get astonished. The riots are not that old, 2-3 weeks and similar issues in consecutive weeks. The political conflict between Kurds and Turks are in the football fields of Turkey.

    By the way, the ones saying Turkey is secular: Your president was an imam in his former employment supporting Taliban!

    Could you post me a similar link occuring lately in Ukraine? It would be refreshing.

  • Comment number 75.

    As somebody who is half Turkish and half British I feel i have good background information when i say that Turkey is ready to host Euro 2016.

    Furthermore, I am currently writing this from Kyiv, Ukraine where my parents currently live which is in no way prepared for Euro 2012. The stadiums aren't built (most of the stada put forward in the Turkish bid have either just been completed, are in the process of being completed already or will be reovations of existing stadia), there are no hotels (of which there are many in Turkey of varying levels of affordability) and a very oppressive police presence in public areas, even on normal Saturdays such as today, that look for a fast buck when 'talking' to foreigners (Turkish police are well versed in dealing with large scale sporting events such as the Champions League final in 2005 and the UEFA Cup final last year as well as having dedicated Tourist Police that speak several languages to provide the best possible assistance to foreigners).

  • Comment number 76.

    Never mind the Football the Tournament!

    When you quickly browse thorough some of the commnets and arguments here, one does not fail to see inherent hostility towards Turks in this country which is also my country now. I feel somewhat sad to see some of ignorant comments in this day: (I am a self-claimed an unoffical ambassador for the Geordie Land and the Kingdomn of Northumbria!.) The one who after all bothers to sit down and scribble a few lines of opinion to smear something towards Turks supposedly well versed and opinionated pathetically fails in their prejudiced comments!.

    I also see here comments by those who knows Turks well and/or have some living experience in Turkey provide unpredujice piece of comment!. However, majority of ill-judged remarks about Turkey and the Turks for me suggests that Turkey has no positive press in the UK.

  • Comment number 77.

    to Jazz: Judging you by your remarks, I think you are an ignorant zealot. Trabzon is famous for killing Christians!!!... Where did you get these facts!

    What about the plains of Mexico, the Grand Canyon and other parts of the US; where are the red skins and natives of the south America - aborigines in Australia and New Zealand!

  • Comment number 78.

    Jazz: "Ramadan stuff"!. I am someone who understand the need for religion for the masses!. But your contemptous writing like "Ramadan stuff" shows again thta you are a zealot and your opinion counts for nothing!!

  • Comment number 79.

    Ever noticed how most of the examples of violence include Leeds fans? :p

    Do you know what im English and hope Turkey get it they have provided St George and the donner kebab and that is all i need to know, besides South Africa is far more likely to be violent - the only country in the world where flamethrowers on your car is legal..

    Another thing the tickets will be so expensive i doubt many people (including myself) commenting on this blog will be able to afford them anyway so you are essentially moaning about the fact it might be held in Turkey when you probably couldn't afford to go anyway!

    I would rather Turkey got it than Italy and France i am sure there are nice Frenchmen and Italians out there but iv never met any of them whereas i know a couple of Turkish people who are quality and would be made up if they got the Euros.

  • Comment number 80.

    #70 you are a clown. Can you read Turkish? I bet the answer is NO. So why do you say to read a Turkish paper, when you can't!

    Konya is the most religious City in Turkey and a very interesting one. I have spent time there and really enjoyed the City. I drank beer there with no issue. I would like you to publish this story you claim, with reference to why the man was beaten and for what reasons. I bet it is a load of nonsense.

    #71 Same guy :( Have you been in any of the Eastern Turkish areas? Yes there are sometimes problems with the Kurds. But i have a very good friend who is in the Turkish army in Diyabakir, and 2 mates in Van - all have had their lifes threatened on many occassions. I have stayed with them and know what it is also like for them. I'm sure you shout 'terrorist' when something happens in Afghanistan or Iraq - so are you saying the Kurds are simply 'freedom fighters'???? I actually love Kurdish people by the way, i have spent a lot of time with them in Iran and Turkey, but organisations like PKK could be branded as terrorists.

    I'm disgusted by comments on here, slating Turkish people and the Turkish nation, and i can only apologise to Turks reading this thread. It shows what backwards thoughts people have. Turkey opens its arms to visitors. I hope some of the people posting on here take the time to go to the country and your opinions will be changed.

    On second thoughts, stay behind your computer screen and get no life experience. Just scream your prejudices on things you have no understanding of.

  • Comment number 81.

    "The Ankara-based government is embarking on an £880m spending spree, intent on building six new stadiums and implementing a major overhaul of the 75,000-capacity Atatürk Olympic Stadium..."

    As long as they don't let Brits make the decisions as to who's doing the stadiums, and totally avoid British contractors and 'experts', they should be fine... I totally support their bid.

    Turkey is a very European country, despite still having honour killings in the countryside. (Britain has honour killings too, come to think of it.)

    As for what would happen if certain countries qualified to compete at the Euro finals... Armenia certainly won't qualify, Greece and Turkey have played each other recently in WC and Euro qualifiers without any crowd trouble, and Israel has been a military ally of Turkey for ages.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    I bet you have Greek or Armenian blood Jazz.... please do tell where your hatred comes from!

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Here is a good blog about this agenda so check it out it has all types of news about football

    http://worldfootballnews4u.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 87.

    Finally turkey is a reference to Hitler himself.
    A quote from Hitler:
    "Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

    So, turks, evolve, be open minded, accept your past and redeem yourself.

  • Comment number 88.

    Jazz if your not in one already I advise you to join the circus, your ignorance is truly outstanding.
    You are really outdoing your self today, take another pill and calm down.
    How sad, this type of ignorance in the 21st century is very interesting.

  • Comment number 89.

    For your information this is propaganda, It's been proven that Hilter never mentioned these words!
    Wake up & Wise up! People like you no longer have the field to yourself. your days of spreading poison are coming to an end.

  • Comment number 90.

    The ones who try to criticise me, come here with a real supporting ideas, could you say something even a single statement of above? Hrant Dink, Trabzone~Malatya cases, BDP, ex-imam president Tayyip (seculer state lie), daily killings of kurds and turkish army members, armenian genocide, Orhan Pamuk, ignorance of Turks in EU, insufficient funds in your country which lousier than Greece (you are so brainwashed that you don't know you are already in economic crisis), Diyarbakırspor fans attacking to refree and the other team, Murder of Santaro, prisonating kurdish children due to possessing lemon???

    I simply select a newspaper through net e.g. milliyet, sabah and translate/read it. I mean I even didn't have to search an armenian source, just turkish newspapers, your papers.

    Quit blabbering, start answering those above, one by one.

    P.S. Please listen to original Hitler recordings and you will grab the sentence there.

  • Comment number 91.

    For all of you argueing that Turkey is not in Europe - go take a look at a map and answer something I have been wondering :- how did Kazakstan get into UEFA. There are parts of Indian that are further west than eastern Kazakstan.
    Isn't human existence interesting ;-)
    hello from Finland ( please can we have it here in 2016 ? ) and up the mighty Villa.

  • Comment number 92.

    # 47 Jchubeta:

    I grant you right away that it is logical to derive a Turkish candidacy
    from the fact that the Turkish Football Association (or whatever their official name is)is a member of the UEFA

    However, I think it was a mistake that UEFA accepted a Turkish membership at that time. Just as it was a mistake to accept Israel.
    Both countries are NOT European.

    Turkey is European only geographically, in a ridiculously minute part of her territory, and ist not European in terms of culture. Israel may be considered to be partly European in cultural terms, but not a square inch of her territory is European.

    The inclusion of both countries into UEFA was decided on obvious poltical grounds and everbody knows it and everybody knows them.
    Mistakes. Mistakes realized must not be realized once more.

    In the light of Turkish poltics' blatant urge to get into the EU, where Turkey does not fit in, it is all the more urgent to show Turkey her proper place. No more mistakes.

    And your mentioning of Turkish soccer merits, be they teamwise or individually (players in non-Turkish leagues)are completely off the mark.

  • Comment number 93.

    Clearly Jazz is an angry, non-English individual with his own agenda. I myself know quite a few Turks (though I've never been there) and have to say that they are top notch.

  • Comment number 94.

    Alot of interesting comments about turkeys secular policies on religion and government to be honest but not about turkeys chances of hosting euro 2016 i think they should despite what happened with the leeds fan in 2000 i think they are the most country passionaite footballing nations you can this when you are their or go watch a turkish football match with galastaray or fenebahnce for example.

    Yes turkey is meant to be a muslim lawed country but is a shamed it hasnt lived up to its expectatitions of its pasted leaders in the great ottoman empire .but when you are talking politics and religion its a tricky business.

    England is historcially a ''christian country'' but one may argue that to be honest has the uk has one of the highest amount of athiests in europe and if you go to the churches on sunday you wont find a single person in there except your granparent because in their generation religion played an important part in their lives.

    Some racists comments to be honest against islam and turkey influence of islam, but this is football not politics or religion if we want to move on and understand other cultures we need to remove this barrier of stereotyping of other countries.

  • Comment number 95.

    @ 73 Messi4LFC

    Are you sure you meant me? I'm a Turk and I was defending my ethnic country! Unless you are criticising my bashing of the Middle East as being inferior to Turkey?

    @ 92 GerrieO

    Explain to me what you mean by European culture? I hear people mention this often when referring to why Turkey shouldn't be in the EU and I don't understand what it entails?

  • Comment number 96.

    Please check Turkey's today newspapers;

    This tournament needs security in the first place but 2 policeman are killed by AK-47s in Samsun province in Turkey. When you check Samsun, it's really close to İstanbul.

    Killing each other is daily activity in Turkey. Check the yesterday, the day before yesterday etc., everyday in Turkey policeman, soldier, kurdish rebel is killed. So, how can you defend the tourists at that time while you cannot even defend your own security forces. lol

    Turkey hell no!

  • Comment number 97.

    Jazz....I think you need to read, then re-read and then read all over again some of the comments posted and maybe even re-read the blog again, but very, very slowly so you can understand everything!!!

    This is about football...FOOTBALL...!!!

    Lets just say all those things you are claiming are true, surley you can accept that people are unfortunately killed, murdered, die,etc, everyday all over the world, NOT just in Turkey?

    And that every country, EVERY COUNTRY, has a 'history' lets say.

    That includes UK, Italy, France, Germany, Europe, the world..are you with me so far? (Just want to make sure you follow.)

    If you think Turkey should not host the euros because of people being killed every day and because of its past then no country in the world, let alone Europe, should host any tournament, ever!!!

    Now you may have some personal issue with Turkey, I say 'may' but it is obdvious. But this isn't the place my friend.

    Maybe councelling or a very good Doctor...some where, where you can just let it all out.....

    Turkey for the Euros? YES, YES, YES!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    @ 96 # Jazz

    Samsun is nowhere near Istanbul. London to Manchester isn't even half of Istanbul to Samsun. London to Edinburgh is a lesser distance! You could even get well into the Scottish Highlands before reaching an equivelant distance of Istanbul to Samsun. It is 383.24 miles or 616.75 kilometres. That is 1 and a half from plane or 9 hours by car. Very close indeed /facepalm.

    England hosted 1996 despite the IRA. This is no different to that. There aren't daily deaths amongst soliders, it is maybe monthly. But you make it sound as bad as Iraq!

    You are anti-Turk plain and simple. The fact your geography is so skewed proves how much of an idiot you are. You are surely a Greek, Armenian or Kurd. As Kevin Keegan said "I would love it!" if we get to host, because it would frustrate people like yourself! Haha.

  • Comment number 99.

    First of all, I am not an anti-turk. I am here showing everyone what Turkey is all about.

    The ones saying everywhere in the world, there are murders, homicides etc. Ok, that's true but what I am saying is:
    There is a low level of war, between kurdish rebels and turkish army/police forces for 30 years or so. Now, today, 2 policemen are killed in Samsun which is again I can say close to Istanbul, Samsun doesn't reside in eastern Turkey, but in very west of BlackSea region, close to Istanbul.
    You cannot even defend your own "policeman" and soldiers and losing your state.
    Really, come here with rational ideas here, and start answering the comment in #90.

    1) Hrant Dink killed because of his thoughts?
    yes, turks talk let's discuss genocide, but if you are an armenian in turkey, you can die due to your thoughts.
    2) 3 christians are killed in Malatya?
    yes
    3) A father killed in Trabzone?
    yes, turks don't like christians and fathers.
    4) You cannot defend your own country at all?
    yes, daily killing of military stuff in Turkey. Even today, 2 of your policemen of yours killed by kurdish rebels and the followers of Abdullah Ocalan.
    5) Your president is an imam supporting fundementalism?
    yes, even his former party is banned due to this and he ended up with jail.
    6) Bribery is common in turkish football?
    yes, check out your famous ex-player Ridvan Dilmenn case
    7) What about Diyarbakir sport? No incidents?
    Yes, throwing stone to players and refree. A little barbaric.
    8) Your nobel prize winner author, Orhan Pamuk admits you, Turks killed 1 million armenian.
    9) You still imprison kurdish children possessing lemon?
    Yes...
    10) You ban former kurdish party leader and attack him, beat him, broke his nose.
    Yes, fighting is all you know, just as your famous historian Ilber Ortayli says so, "no science, no art but just military institutions"
    11) The institute of Alperen in Turkey organizes an assault against the ones who drink wine during a concert break.
    Yes, you don't belong to EU and UEFA.

    So, sweep your filth prior sweeping EU and UEFA doors!
    Ask for redemption...

    "If you have balls, answer my arguments above one by one", I want you to select a number above and respond me and prove with decent arguments...

    or you all brainwashed?
    I know turks very well than turks, following you for 30 years.

    So, definitely hell no!!!

  • Comment number 100.

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