BBC BLOGS - Phil Minshull
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Goodbye to Hell

Post categories:

Phil Minshull | 10:04 UK time, Thursday, 20 January 2011

Hell has not frozen over in Istanbul - the temperature still rarely drops below five degrees centigrade at night in January by the Bosphorus - but the bulldozers are moving in.

Very soon the famous - and many fans of western Europe clubs would say infamous - Ali Sami Yen Stadium will be nothing more than rubble and a memory, soon to become a shopping centre.

No longer will the Galatasaray fans unfurl their legendary banners, which greeted foreign opponents and local rivals alike, with the announcement 'Welcome to Hell'. No more flaming torches will be lit - emblematic of Galatasaray's yellow and red colours that the club's founder Ali Sami Yen chose because they looked like fire - and the deafening drums have been silenced.

"I've never experienced anything like Galatasaray," reflected Ryan Giggs after one of several visits to the Ali Sami Yen by Manchester United during the mid-90s.

"Two hours before kick-off, we went out to have a look at the pitch and the stadium was packed! The chanting was brilliant. One side starts, then the other, then quiet, then all of them chanting. The players really enjoyed it. Before it was good, after it wasn't!"

asy595.jpgThe Ali Sami Yen Stadium was an intimidating place. Photo: Getty Images

In recent years, Galatasaray fans have been less successful at unnerving their opponents from abroad as, since 2002, the club has been playing its big European matches at the nearby Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

However, the Ali Sami Yen will still go down in European Cup and Champions League folklore as the scene of many famous European victories by the Turkish giants, often upsetting the odds against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The final game in the stadium, which took place last week, was a low-key affair considering its history, a Turkish Cup match which saw the hosts make hard work of beating third division side Beypazarı Sekerspor 3-1

Former Sheffield United striker Colin Kazim-Richards, known in Istanbul as Kazim-Kazim, scored the final goal, opening his account on his Galatasaray debut after moving from bitter rivals Fenerbahce earlier this month.

Once the football was over, many on the pitch and in the stands had tears in their eyes as they said farewell in their various ways.

The Galatasaray players gathered in the centre circle to applaud their fans and listen to them sing songs late into the night; a famous Turkish news presenter Ali Kırca read a long poem eulogising the stadium; and current Galatasaray coach Gheorghe Hagi was joined by colleagues from the team that won the Uefa Cup and Uefa Super Cup in 2000.

The Uefa Cup triumph, which came via a penalty shoot-out against Arsenal following an ill-tempered 0-0 draw in Copenhagen, still remains the only occasion a Turkish club has won a European competition.

Despite the nostalgia that always accompanies such occasions - think about Arsenal leaving Highbury and Manchester City departing Maine Road - perhaps the time had come for a change of scenery.

The new Turk Telecom Arena, which has quickly become also known as the Aslantepe - or "Lion Hill" - after the district in which it is located, has a capacity of 52,695, more than double the number of spectators that the Ali Sami Yen could hold after it became an all-seater arena in 1996.

"The new stadium is beautiful. It opens a new page and I hope we can begin to re-write history here," said Hagi last week. "Now we have to get used to it, although that may take a few matches. However, I still believe that in one or two years this club can return to being one of the top teams in Europe."

The Turk telecom ArenaGalatasaray will be playing their football at the Turk Telecom Arena

Things have not gone well for Galatasaray at their old ground in the last couple of seasons, with maybe some of its old mystique ebbing away ever since preparations to move were finalised in 2007 and construction started on the new stadium.

Last year, they finished third in Turkey's Super Lig but were 11 points adrift of Bursaspor, who claimed their debut title to become the first team from outside of Istanbul to win since Trabzonspor in 1984.

The season before, Galatasaray had finished back in fifth, a dismal outcome for a club that had won the league in 2005/6 and then 2007/8 to c;aim their 17th title since the Super Lig started in 1959 and draw level with Fenerbahce.

Galatasaray did qualify for this season's Europa League but their campaign was over almost before it started. They crashed out of the competition in the third qualifying round, losing on away goals to the Ukrainian minnows FC Karpaty Lviv.

The defeat, especially with Galatasaray's previous European success being prized so highly, as good as signalled the end for Frank Rijkaard, in his first coaching job since leaving Barcelona, although he hung on until mid-October.

Fortunes have not improved much for Galatasaray icon Hagi, who is in his second stint as coach of the club. His team are languishing 10th in the table, with Trabzonspor holding a five-point lead over Bursaspor at the halfway point in the season after losing only one game all season in the league.

Hagi, who also starred as a player for Romania and Barcelona, has lost four of his nine league games since taking charge. One of those losses came at the hands of Besiktas in the last Istanbul derby at the Ali Sami Yen. That 2-1 defeat at the end of November was followed by a 2-0 loss to lowly Ankara side Genclerbirligi in the last league match at the historic venue on 11 December.

The second half of the Turkish season, after a month-long winter break, kicks off this weekend. Galatasaray play host to Sivasspor, runners-up two seasons ago but who are also going through a difficult time, hovering only one place above the relegation zone.

Hagi must be hoping that a change of home brings about a change of fortune.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 11:22am on 20 Jan 2011, Vox Populi wrote:

    Turkish football fans are the most loud amd passionate in Europe. There is no other country quite like them. They deserve better-performing teams in Europe than the ones they currently have.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 11:28am on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    Turkey should't be in UEFA. Mind you there are many countries that shouldn't be in UEFA.

    Was this the same stadium Graeme Souness planted the flag of the rival team in the centre circle when he won there as a manager?

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 11:30am on 20 Jan 2011, Vox Populi wrote:

    2. At 11:28am on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:
    Turkey should't be in UEFA.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why?

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 11:32am on 20 Jan 2011, On the Pitch wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 11:33am on 20 Jan 2011, TheShedEnd wrote:

    "Welcome To Hell"! LOL

    Anyone remember a rather splendid evening in 1999?

    Galatasary 0 Chelsea 5

    Hell indeed. For the Turks anyway!!

    Tore Andre, Gus Poyet. Always remember the footage of Wisey getting off the coach surrounded by Galatasaray fans ... with a smirk on his face as if to say "Hell eh? ... we'll see about that".

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 11:34am on 20 Jan 2011, Vox Populi wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 11:36am on 20 Jan 2011, LTR wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 11:38am on 20 Jan 2011, Wayne Rooney - The missing link - save 606 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 11:45am on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @3 - because only 10% of turkey is in Europe. They should play in the middle east. Doen't get me started on Kazakhstan.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 11:48am on 20 Jan 2011, NickH wrote:

    Turkish football is great - i went to Fenerbahce's ground a couple of years ago during a weekend in Istanbul. Didn't get to see a game unfortunately but they let us tour the stadium. It was better than a lot of premier league stadiums in UK. And it sounds like their big rivals now have a decent ground too. So why shouldnt Turkey be in UEFA?!

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 11:55am on 20 Jan 2011, Onside_Ian_Rush_Goal wrote:

    Great article. Always great to read about other leagues from around Europe. Always like to know what's happening in the other leagues. The early 2000s were probably a golden era for Turkish football with the success of Galatasaray in 2000 and then Turkey reaching the semi's of the World Cup in 2002.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 12:04pm on 20 Jan 2011, Marvin The Martian wrote:

    SwissColony,

    Geography has got very little to do with FIFA (and UEFA by extension) as it is almost entirely related to how much cash can be generated. I very much doubt that the application of Turkey into UEFA went along the lines of "No, we don't want to play Real Madrid or Milan, we want to play in Baghdad in the summer. No, no europe for us, we want to play out of the centre stage of world football in desert backwaters."

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 12:04pm on 20 Jan 2011, Tidbit wrote:

    @ no. 10. Having lived in Istanbul I can tell you that is as modern a city as many in Western Europe and therefore unsurprising that the stadium is as good or better than the many in the Premier Leauge.

    On UEFA inclusion while Turkey does boarder with Iraq, I dont think geography should come into it as Turkey is for the most part a Europeanised country and to not be part of UEFA would be detriment to the level of football played in the country. Fenerbache, Galatasary and Beskitas have all shown they can compete on the European stage and their teams include many european players.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 12:13pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    Tidbit and Marvin. I have to disagree. They clearly can't compete having only won the Mickey-Mouse cup of Europe in their history and getting smacked 0-5 by a pre-Abramovich Chelsea.

    As for generating cash. Turkey would have a much better chance of qualifying for World Cups playing in the AFC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 12:20pm on 20 Jan 2011, Oz Dave in London wrote:

    To Swissy

    Turkey prefer UEFA for the money as Marvin & Tidbit pointed out, the opposition in the Euros and WC Qualifiers is much better money-wise for them and they've done okay as a nation in the Euro Cup. The draw for the clubs in the UEFA C/League is 100% better than the AFC C/League.

    The fact Kazakhstan, Aremina & Azerbijan are in UEFA is more shocking in terms of geography, especially considering Uzbekistan is in the AFC. Sometimes geography doesn't make sense in FIFA but it works for teams to play elsewhere for style & money with these cases in point and my Aussie in the AFC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 12:20pm on 20 Jan 2011, TheGeneGenie wrote:

    Good idea. Lets eulogise about this old ground...

    RIP Kevin and Chris

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 12:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, Vox Populi wrote:

    Turkey does border with Iraq but it's a vast country and the most populated area is in the West. It also borders Bulgaria, Greece and Romania.

    Even geographically there is no argument that Turkey should be in the Middle East.

    Although Islam is the major religion of Turkey, it is a secular country. Also ethnically and culturally, Turks have more in common with Bosnians, Romanians and Bulgarians than they do with Arabs. It's not an 'Arab' country as some westerners seem to assume just as it's near the Middle East.

    And yes, Galatasaray have won a European trophy in the last 15 years. Aside from Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool thats more than any other club in the English Premiership.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 12:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paolo55 wrote:

    @Swiss Colony. Mate Turkey is more a European country than it is Asian. Despite the fact that it's mainly Muslim it has much much more in common with Europe culturally and economically. And you say they can't compete, but their clubs have won a damn sight more than clubs from most countries in Europe. They have dipped a bit in the last couple of years, but in previous years they were really competitive.

    I'm a Man Utd fan and I remember a terrific tie against Galatasary back in the early 90s when we went out on away goals. And we've had some good Champions League matches against Besiktas and Fenerbache in more recent years. Turkish fans are amazing too - they put our prawn sandwich brigade to shame anyway.

    And as for playing the AFC, I don't think they would have a better chance of qualifying - the AFC only has 3 or 4 qualification places, anjd they'd have to travel to places like Japan and Australia - it's much easier and faster for them to travel to places in Europe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 12:25pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paolo55 wrote:

    Vox Populi you echoed my sentiments exactly!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 12:25pm on 20 Jan 2011, Isa-Villain wrote:

    @9

    At least some of Turkey is in Europe. Israel borders only Arab countries, yet nobody complains about them being within UEFA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 12:27pm on 20 Jan 2011, Vox Populi wrote:

    14. At 12:13pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:
    Tidbit and Marvin. I have to disagree. They clearly can't compete

    As for generating cash. Turkey would have a much better chance of qualifying for World Cups playing in the AFC.

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

    So I imagined Turkey reaching the semi finals of the World Cup in 2002 and reaching the semi finals of Euro 2008 then?

    Thanks for letting me know it was all a strange dream. Remind me how England did in Euro 2008...?

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 12:29pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @17 - your ignorance actually made me angry. Do some research, less than 10% of the country is in Europe. So 'geographically there is no argument Turkey should be in Europe'.

    Pauolo55 I don't care if it's easier for them to travel to Europe than Asia. Please extend your argument to Kazakhstan.

    Membership of federations is about money and the agenda of governments and national FAs to the detriment of the fans. Turkish fans (national and club) can travel far more easily to neighbouring, middle Eastern countries than places like Iceland, Estonia and other counties actually located within Europe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 12:37pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paolo55 wrote:

    But Swiss if Turkey were in the AFC their clubs would spend most of their time playing teams in Japan, China, Malaysia etc, not the teams in the neighbouring Middle Eastern countries (because mostly those teams are quite weak). And I don't have to extend my argument to Kazakhstan, cos we're not talking about Kazakhstan. We're talking about Turkey, and Turkey has every right to be in UEFA. I don't see why it makes such a difference to you. If you look at a map for more than 2 seconds you'd also realise that Turkey is as close to Estonia as it is to, say, Yemen, which is a Middle Eastern country.

    Also, could you please answer Vox Populi's question about WC 2002 and Euro 2008? Or do you not have an answer because you realise he's made you look like the ignorant one?

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 12:41pm on 20 Jan 2011, Aarfy_Aardvark - bring back 606 wrote:

    @9 - Good thing Galatasaray's new stadium is on the European side of the Bosphorus then. ;-)

    Its kinda funny that Gala, the club founded from the snooty public schools and upper classes in Turkey have had their cushy little stadium paid for them by the government, whereas Fener, the more working class club, built up their own stadium gradually on their own financial backs.

    Your articles always seem so watery, Phil. There is an interesting story happening in Turkey at the moment, with the whole Erdogan booing at the opening ceremony, the role of the directors and the government together with the supporters and the ownership of the new stadium. All of this is quite interesting reading but all you've done is waffle off some boring facts and ignored this issue. You even posted a link to the story and completely ignored it in your article.

    There is the whole powder-keg of secularism in Turkey, Erdogan and the state's dictatorial ego (you boo and I'll take away the stadium and punish you) and the increasing politicisation of the fans tells you there is something more to this new stadium move than fancy new seats and some facts you've generated off wikipedia. The fact you started off the piece mentioning the Gala fans, left me a bit disappointed in the end. Are the same ones who held up the "Welcome to Hell" banners, the same who booed Erdogan?

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 12:45pm on 20 Jan 2011, AH84 - Arenberg forest madness wrote:

    "Please extend your argument to Kazakhstan."

    Isn't places like Kazakhstan in Uefa because until very late in the 20th centry they were part of the Soviet Union/Russia who played in European Competitions?

    Anyway why does it matter? Football is now a global game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 12:46pm on 20 Jan 2011, salmon wrote:

    @14 as for pre Abramovich, wern't Chelsea outplayed at Fenerbache a few years with Deivid scoring a 30 yarder to win the first leg 3-2? Made Chelsea worry a bit I think, despite going on to win the tie at Stamford Bridge.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    So I imagined Turkey reaching the semi finals of the World Cup in 2002 and reaching the semi finals of Euro 2008 then?

    Thanks for letting me know it was all a strange dream. Remind me how England did in Euro 2008...?


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Great point, I was lucky enough to be in Turkey when the Euros were on in 2008, it was the most fantastic atmosphere, I've never experienced anything like it, and all of the support was shown outside the ground with chanting a people in cars hooting their horns for hours after the game, why wouldn't we want a nation that loves football, and can offer a different cultural background.

    I'd rather watch top Turkish games than some English ones.

    As for being European they have also applied to join the EU in the past!

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 12:50pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    Paolo - the AFC is split into reagions so they wouldn't fly off to Japan, Malaysia etc. I didn't actually know this, but a few seconds research before posting stops me looking like an idiot.

    Vox - firstly, I couldn't care less how England did in the Euros, but at least if they qualified they have a right to. Turkey shouldn't have been there.

    For the WC as I recall they played powerhouses like China and Senegal. If they were in the AFC they'd still have qualified for the WC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 1:15pm on 20 Jan 2011, Ad wrote:

    Why is Swisscolony getting so upset?!?! Wasn't Turkey intergrated in to UEFA back in the day due the lack of suitable opponents in Asia?.... if it was, it has certainly benefited them, considering it was only 25 years ago when (internationally speaking) England and the likes were routinely thumping them 8-0. Nobody (as much as I read) has mentioned Israel's participation! I may be ignorant, but I believe not one part of Israel is in Europe.

    Equally as Turkey "shouldn't" be in UEFA, then Australia shouldn't compete in the Asia Cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 1:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonjo83 wrote:

    Swiss, you're argument is utterly ridiculous. Perhaps Russia should join the AFC group because they share a border with North Korea or maybe France should join CONMEBOL because they share a border with Brazil.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 1:30pm on 20 Jan 2011, TomHoppo wrote:

    SwissColony - Turkey has every right to play in Europe as a part of it is in Europe - albeit a small part - including most of its capital city. its certainly considered by most people to be in both Europe and Asia so why shouldn't they be able to choose where they play?

    Same goes for Kazakhstan to be honest. If you had done any research before posting you'd know that the geographical border of Europe is the Ural Mountains, in Russia. Follow the Urals down and you find they split Kazakhstan in half; so half Europe, half Asia. Let them choose!

    To be fair these are all down to opinion, but I'm afraid you're in the vast minority...

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 1:33pm on 20 Jan 2011, jakebullet wrote:

    Turkey only 10% in Europe? Of course Israel is 100% in Europe isn't it? Wonder why no one has mentioned that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 1:34pm on 20 Jan 2011, conshaldowhailhail wrote:

    Swiss i think your comments border on racism... so australia should still be in the ociana grouping?

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 1:34pm on 20 Jan 2011, cyberFC wrote:

    Isn't places like Kazakhstan in Uefa because until very late in the 20th centry they were part of the Soviet Union/Russia who played in European Competitions?
    =======================
    So were Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrghyzstan who all now play in AFC. But yes, you're right, UEFA has extended automatic invitation to all ex-Soviet Republics to join UEFA as heritage from Soviet Union. All, but above 4 Central Asian republics, have accepted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 1:37pm on 20 Jan 2011, Frodo_MUFC wrote:

    20. At 12:25pm on 20 Jan 2011, Isa-Villain wrote:

    @9

    At least some of Turkey is in Europe. Israel borders only Arab countries, yet nobody complains about them being within UEFA.
    ------------------------------------

    I don't think even FIFA would be daft enough to make Israel play games against the other countries in that region!

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 1:40pm on 20 Jan 2011, cyberFC wrote:

    Traditionally, as long as any, even small, part of country is in Europe/Asia/etc; the nation can become UEFA/AFC/etc member. USSR, and then Russia & Kazakhstan have only small part of country in Europe, bigger chunks are in Asia. Yet they still play in UEFA. Australia recently switched from Oceania into Asian Football Federation on same grounds.
    Israel is the only unique examption to the rule. However, can you imagine Israel being drawn into same AFC group as Iran, Egypt and Syria?! Those "Welcome to hell" banners would have quite colorful meaning!!! )))

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 1:42pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 37. At 1:45pm on 20 Jan 2011, neiljwhitehouse wrote:

    @24 Aarfy_Aardvark
    Please expand on your point.
    Who is / are the erdogan and the "state's dictatorial ego goverment", how are they involved?

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 1:48pm on 20 Jan 2011, ce421 wrote:

    To Swiss Colony,

    Three of your and recent past natianal team players, Eren Derdiyok, the Yakin borthers, and Gokhan Inler are of Tukish ethnicity, though Swiss citizens. Perhaps you'd want them banned from participating on the Swiss national team as well?
    The fact is, Turkish football, as a perennial underdog compared to the traditional Euro powers, has brought many moments of excitement and flavor to the European stage...both at club and national team level.
    On the other hand, your comments seem to be pretty ignorant and racist. It's nice to see that most people have seen through that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 1:49pm on 20 Jan 2011, Willo77 wrote:

    30. At 1:30pm on 20 Jan 2011, Forest Tom wrote:
    SwissColony - Turkey has every right to play in Europe as a part of it is in Europe - albeit a small part - including most of its capital city.


    Sorry but Istanbul is not the capital - thats Ankara, about halfway to Iraq!

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 1:52pm on 20 Jan 2011, TomHoppo wrote:

    SwissColony a lot less than 50% of Russia is in Europe too - I dont see you complaining about that at all. Probably because culturally you know its part of Europe - the same is true with Kazakhstan, an ex Soviet state, and with Turkey, Istanbul is as western a city as London.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 1:57pm on 20 Jan 2011, jon wrote:

    Liverpool FC Banner
    "You call this hell? You wanna try the Grafton on a Saturday night!"

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 1:58pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonjo83 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 43. At 2:00pm on 20 Jan 2011, TomHoppo wrote:

    Also - sorry Willo, youre right! Alright, largest and most important city is mostly in Europe then. Thanks for that!

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 2:03pm on 20 Jan 2011, orkunp wrote:

    @SwissColony

    As a Turkish man who was born and raised in Turkey and who still lives there, I understand your argument. However it's got its missing parts. Because a continent is not only defined by its borders. Europe's geographical borders may well be short of covering the whole of the countries like Turkey and Kazakhstan, but you forget the reality that identities of continents are formed by centuries of interaction among peoples. You need not make a deep research in history to see that Turks have been in and around Europe for over 7 centuries; and I'm not even taking into account Huns led by Atilla into mid-Europe around 4th century AD who were ancestors of the Turks. For over 7 centuries Turks have lived, worked, fought, ruled -though the areas changed from time to time-, sometimes have been ruled and settled in Europe. It's not very hard to guess that Turkish people are much more alike the European people rather than the Asian people.

    Never mind Turkey for a minute, because it's just an example here. Political maps of continents have been made throughout history. Check this out for instance: http://goo.gl/5gQnj As you will see Cyprus is geographically a part of Asia. But not only is it in UEFA but also a part of the EU. Greenland is geographically in North America, but it's politically a part of Europe. Same goes for Malta and Armenia. Why are these maps made? The reason is simple: cultural interaction. Countries like Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaidjan Kazakhstan etc. not only share grounds from both Europe and Asia, but they also have a cultural connection with it.

    For instance among the Middle Asia countries that were founded after the break-up o the Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan etc.), the country which was culturally the closest to Russia was and still is Kazakhstan. Also please note that the other Middle Asian countries have no grounds in Europe geographically either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 2:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonjo83 wrote:

    @36 - Perhaps you should stop being so patronising and stop trying to impose arbitrary boundaries that exist only in your head.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 2:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    OK here we go.

    @38 - I'm not Swiss. Also, you're the 2nd person to accuse me of beng racist. Please back this up and show me what I've said that is racist.
    @40 - Stop getting hung up on the one major city that is in the 3% of Turkey that is in Europe. Not even the capital city to boot. Russia as at least near Europe. Kazakhstan is the size of Western Europe and thousands of miles away.

    So Kazakhstan is European as it's ex-soviet? By your argmument so are all the commonwealth countries. Sorry, but I've been to India and Sri Lanka - they are not European. I've not been to Kazahstan, but I'll be willing to bet it's not European either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 2:18pm on 20 Jan 2011, weezer316 wrote:

    More Xenophobia. . Why on earth should turkey not be in UEFA? Isnt it in talks to join the EU?

    Russia has an unimagainbly large area east of the urals, but as they have territory in Europe and have been linked with european affairs since time began they are part of UEFA. Same applies to turkey.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 2:28pm on 20 Jan 2011, The Futurista wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 49. At 2:28pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @44 - thanks for a reasoned, intelligent response.
    @45 - you clearly have access to the internet, take those crayons out of your nose and use it. My boundaries are neither abitrary nor imaginary.
    @47 - It's common courtesy to read comments before posting. If you'd done so you'd know my reason is due to Turkey's location

    I'm still waiting for those that accused me of racism to back their comments up. How is it racist to state a particular country should be in or out of a football federation based on its geographical location?

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 2:29pm on 20 Jan 2011, TheresOnly1Gav wrote:

    The end of an era eh? Easily one of the best stadiums in the world in terms of atmosphere created at matches. I never personally had the chance of seeing a match at the stadium, which is a shame, but I will try to get to the new stadium sometime for a match, which looks amazing!

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 2:32pm on 20 Jan 2011, conshaldowhailhail wrote:

    @Swiss, you are discounting a country from Europe due to it's geographical location... you are not taking into account the cultural/economical/social relevance of the country.

    I also don't understand how "less than 10%" of a country can be in europe and the other 90odd% in asia... how does this work? Surely the whole country is part of Europe, it borders Greece and Georgia as well as Iran and Iraq... so really this country is as EurAsian as it gets and really it is there dicision which continent they belong to! What gives you the right to choose where a country should play it's football? Simple answer - you dont!

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 2:39pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonjo83 wrote:

    @49 - If I were you I'd get in touch with the Council of Europe and EU as they, like me and UEFA, appear to be under the mistaken impression that Turkey can be considered as part of Europe. I'm sure they'll boot Turkey out immediately when confronted with the wealth of evidence you've provided. If they don't agree you can just insult them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 2:49pm on 20 Jan 2011, 6charname wrote:

    Seeing as Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey are all in Europe and Asia, it seems fair enough that they are members or UEFA. Israel is the only member that's a geographic anomaly that springs to mind.

    I can't see why anyone cares though, seems a pretty insane thing to get your knickers in a twist about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 2:53pm on 20 Jan 2011, underdog_tr wrote:

    I'm not fan of Galatasaray. But I have to remind one thing to the guys that remind Chelsea's 0-5 win over Galatasaray in Ali Sami Yen. The very same season Galatasaray went to UEFA Cup and navigate through the title by beating Leeds United in semis and Arsenal in finals.

    And you still see one nation (at least won UEFA cup one time) with Kazakhstan in same box!

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 2:58pm on 20 Jan 2011, showwmann wrote:

    To All,

    As talked several times let me remind you that after the Chelsea defeat (0-5) GALATASARAY won the UEFA title in the same year without a defeat. (2000)

    To whom that claims GALATASARAY had no noticable achievements in Europe;

    As the author, Phil Minshull, wrote a wonderful article about the old ground Ali Sami Yen Stadium, GALATASARAY had many victories there.

    Played 2 semi finals in the 1st Cup of Europe. Got he UEFA & Super Cup @ 2000.

    After 3-0 defeat at the away game, knocked out Neuchatel Xamax by 5-0. A world famous 2 leged come back in the quarter final in the 1st Cup of Europe. Thus we got the ticket for the semi finals.

    In the first year of Champions League again Galatasaray knocked of Man. United by 3-3 and 0-0. There was a world famous come back in Old Trafford, which was 2-0 lead by Red Devils in just 15 min. but GALATASARAY made it 2-3.

    After Man. United knocked out that year in the qualification rounds UEFA changed the regulation of that cup. Since then, the big clubs from the top leagues did not play qualification rounds. They enter directly to the Champions League. Before that every team has to play qualification rounds.

    Who else -I mean which team- made UEFA to change a regulation in the history ?

    Yeah in addition GALATASARAY defeated Barcelona, Real Madrid(x2), Arsenal, Leeds, Liverpool, Juventus, AC Milan, Deportivo, Athletic Bilbao, Roma, Dortmund, Benfica and many more.

    One truth is GALATASARAY is in deep sleep for many years because of bad executive decisions, stupid board of directors.

    With the new home ground TURK TELEKOM ARENA GALATASARAY'll come back!

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 3:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, aardware wrote:

    Swisscolony, are you perchance Greek or from certain of the former Yugoslav states? You seem to have an immense amount of vitriol to aim at the Turks.

    I've always considered Turkey to be the edge of Europe before coming to the middle east, and it has a nice mix of both cultures. I really don't see why you have such a problem with them being in UEFA.

    I've seen some great games at this stadium, its a shame to see it go. I only hope the new stadium isn't as bereft of atmosphere as the Emirates is supposed to be.

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 3:09pm on 20 Jan 2011, jamesdominic wrote:

    30. At 1:30pm on 20 Jan 2011, Forest Tom wrote:
    SwissColony - Turkey has every right to play in Europe as a part of it is in Europe - albeit a small part - including most of its capital city.
    . I agree with your sentiment entirely, however the capital (Ankara) is on the Asian continent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 3:09pm on 20 Jan 2011, aardware wrote:

    @Showwmann In answer to your question, Liverpool

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 3:18pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    To Swiss chocolate
    Who cares, we are in UEFA and we will be in EU once that happens we will see if you are racist or not :)) and what are u a geography teacher??

    Also would like to say thank you to all who support us (obviously for the right reasons).

    We will miss Sami Yen , I had all sorts of memories there, the oldest one was me and my cousin went to our last game of the season at 1am (yes to be able to get in) against Bursaspor in 1993- 1994 season which we had to win to claim the title and we were in the queue for 15 hours.

    Also when we lost to Chelsea 0-5 which we left the stadium at 0-3 ad then found out we conceded 2 more.

    Or the game against Milan which led to our glory in Europe and the semis against Leeds Utd which we still regret about what happened near Taksim Square.

    I still remember the goal that Hagi struck from 35 meters against Monaco ( I was sitting right in the line of sight, what a goal it was)

    Now we have a brilliant new stadium which is like Emirates same shape and everything, it will be a new beginning for us cos it will generate abot $90 million a season which will put us back were we belong in the European elite.

    We wish to see our old European rivals in our NEW HELL (I WAS IN THE OPENING GAME HECK THE ACOUSTICS ARE MUCH BETTER THE ALI SAMI YEN , DO NOT FORGET TO BRING UR EAR PLUGS)

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 3:30pm on 20 Jan 2011, codzie85 wrote:

    I'm not entirely sure why you're all picking on Swiss and suggesting he/she is racist... It seems Swiss raised a point, Vox countered it and you're all taking sides. Both sides of the argument have their valid bits, but as usual there a thousand reasons why turkey and Israel are 'in Europe' mostly political and historical. Just to add fuel to the fire if you take a UK mobile to Turkey, your network will charge you for being in Asia not Europe! Someone pointed out earlier that the quality of footballing opposition had something to do with it- that's a limited argument too otherwise we may as well stick San Marino and Andorra in with the Cook islands and Vanuatu for WC qualifying?

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 3:35pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 3:39pm on 20 Jan 2011, aardware wrote:

    @codzie85

    Your point about mobile phones has little to do with geographical/political regions, and more to do with mobile phone networks being money grabbing b*stards. They'd charge you for being in Asia when you were in ROI if they thought they could get away with it!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 3:41pm on 20 Jan 2011, Smiler1873 wrote:

    Turkish Football is fantastic and soon like russian football it will be mlving up ranks and taking home trophys

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 3:45pm on 20 Jan 2011, costlessthanberbatov wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 65. At 3:45pm on 20 Jan 2011, Steveinbg wrote:

    Geographic point re Vox Populi (17). Turkey does not have a border with Romania, Just Bulgaria and Greece.

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 3:47pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Sorry to say this but Turkey doesnt belong to be within the confederation of UEFA. But I also dont believe that the AFC
    is the brightest of all things. There are too many countries
    that will never ever qualify for a major finals as long as we
    all have holes in our ears.

    Perhaps the most logical route
    would be for the Middle East to have their own conferdation
    to help develop the lesser nations. Doing the same for the
    south east Asian nations would also benefit too. When its the
    same Asian nations qualifying every 4 years then you send a
    message that there will always be an elite. Countries like India
    , Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan have huge populations and
    somehow fail to qualify for a single World Cup, its sad and
    quite bizzare.

    In Europe its all the same too, with Andorra, San Marino,
    Litchenstein and soon Gibraltar, there has to be some balance
    into the arena. Breaking down the AFC would benefit Asian
    football in the long haul and sorry Turkey but you should be
    in the Asian side of football. Japan is one of the most western
    cultural countries in the world yet is proud of where it is.

    Turkey will not qualify for a major final for the next 20 years
    when all of Europe is improving all the time, seeing the example
    of the ex USSR countries like Lativa and Lithuania qualifying
    and the sleeping giants like Spain and Italy dominiating. So
    what, Galatasary won the 2000 UEFA Cup, it was on penalities
    not an outright victory.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 3:48pm on 20 Jan 2011, Wiener Student wrote:

    Swisscolony
    (Turkey should not play in UEFA) "because only 10% of turkey is in Europe. They should play in the middle east. Doen't get me started on Kazakhstan."

    Heh. Should Russian clubs play in Asia? Because I am damn sure more than half of all Russia lies technically in Asia. Oh, you think Russia is at least "close". Closer to what? To Rome? To Madrid? Nope. Moscow might be a bit closer to London than Ankara, but I for one would not base whether a country is European or not on the distance between its capital and London. You might. Heck, based on reading your posts, it looks like you actually do.

    Anyway, both Turkey and the old Ottoman Empire have considered themselves part of Europe. Technically, most of the lands under the control of the British crown during the time of the Empire laid outside Europe, but you would not call Britain an Asian nor an African state.

    If it is a question of cultural tradition, then Turkey is as much European as any Balkan state. The core lands of the Ottoman/Turkish tradition were Greece, the Balkans, and Anatolia (which has actually been European in heritage at least since the ancient Greek colonisation). The Ottoman culture - and the modern national state that inherited much of this culture - evolved in European environment, only to be geographically pushed out of the continent at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Incidentally, it only became even more "European" in the aftermath, as far as social, bureaucratic and economic models are considered. It is basically a prosperous Balkan state that got pushed out of the Balkan. The argument for its inclusion in the UEFA group must be based on cultural arguments, and Turkey is culturally much, much closer to Europe than to Syria, let alone Iran or Egypt.

    The fact that a band of geographers decided that Anatolia is not Europe does not define its culture nor people as Asian.

    Not sure about Kazakhstan. There are a lot of Russians living there, and they have been pushed into prominent/landowner positions ever since the time of tsarist Russia, so the country itself has taken on a somewhat Russian feel. It was probably the Russians there, and their friends in actual Russia, who thought Kazakhstans inclusion in UEFA makes sense. I would not defend this choice, nevertheless, even if I can guess why or how was it made. Kazakhstan still seems pretty much far from Europe, and the travel distance makes its inclusion rather impractical.

    Turkey remains a very different case. The country, and its history, have been emphatically, and consciously, as in "by its own choice", a part of European history at least since the 15th century and remain European today, no less than Serbia or Greece. Turkey has always had political interests beyond Europe, and has let in "non-European" cultural influence, but so has Britain or France or almost any country with an imperial heritage.

    The only way you can "win" this argument is that you define that membership in UEFA be based only on having more than, say, 50 per cent of state territory geographically in Europe, and exclude Russia from this limitation Russia because... well, for whatever reason, like having their capital in Europe. And you can kick Kazakhstan and Israel and Turkey out. And Cyprus. And Armenia. That, however, does not make Turkey any less part of Europe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 3:55pm on 20 Jan 2011, mickeymodo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 3:55pm on 20 Jan 2011, 6charname wrote:

    @67 (re: "Kazakhstan still seems pretty much far from Europe") parts of kazakhstan are actually (geographically) IN Europe, so it's really not that far away...

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 4:02pm on 20 Jan 2011, Wiener Student wrote:

    By the way, Phil, "LOWLY" Genclerbirligi? Are you an Ankaragucu fan? They may lie low in the table, but they surely are not a "lowly" side. Would you say "Lowly" Stuttgart just because they are currently 17th in the table? Dammit, would you write "lowly" Liverpool when they were hovering near the bottom? And it has been longer since Liverpool has won their domestic league.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 4:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 4:07pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @66 - Thank you. this is the point I made a while ago. UEFA is too big and needs to be reduced. Take away some of the WC spots and give them to another federation - open up the WC to more countries. Personally I can't wait for Qatar 2022.

    @Phil Minshull

    Sorry for derailing this thread in the second comment. It seems everyone has accepted my point as being not only valid, but also entirely correct. So with that I'll but out and leave you to get this back on track.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 4:13pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    The article is about Ali Sami Yen Stadium but racists turned it to bashing of Turkey , what is with the pain in your asses?? What happened happened in the past just let go..

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 4:13pm on 20 Jan 2011, Wiener Student wrote:

    @69

    True. I was really in a kind of "cultural" mindset. Those parts were safely Asian till, what, 17th, 18th century? And people would still argue then that Russia was not Europe (much like with Turkey today, btw) Makes a purely geographical definition of being European even more silly to me.

    Funny how someone mentions human rights issues and repression of free press as disqualifying Turkey from Europe, while no-one voices any concerns regarding Russia. Things may be far from rosy in Turkey, but... Ah, nevermind. Better not dig any deeper.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 4:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, SweatyImp wrote:

    Ladies, Ladies, you're all pretty and there is no need to argue.
    In my experience ther eis only 1 way to settle this and consult the oracle of all thing european. See below for a list of all the 39 entrants into the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
    Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR, Macedonia, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
    QED The Turks are OK but sadly the Khazaks failed the entry test.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 4:34pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    to 66

    Undefeated champions

    As of yet, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Mönchengladbach, IFK Göteborg (twice), Ajax, Galatasaray and Feyenoord are the only teams in UEFA Cup history to win the tournament undefeated.

    Only four teams have won the treble of their national league championship, domestic cup competition and the UEFA Cup all in same season. They are:
    IFK Göteborg (1982)
    Galatasaray (2000)
    FC Porto (2003)
    CSKA Moscow (2005)

    About not winning it outright you did not watch the game or you do not understand football very much, we beat an Arsenal team that was full of superstars Emanuel Petit and Pat Viera (euro and world cup winning midfield of France) Davor Suker 98 world cup golden boot winner, Marc Overmars maybe one of the best wingers EVER, Thierry Henry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the spanish ref sent off Hagi for hitting Tony Adams who hit hagi only moments before and showed him a yellow only.

    I would argue with anyone who says we were not the better side or not deserve to win....

    And about european teams improving all the time , you must be joking Turkey has great youth teams coming up , we have population of 72 million we had so much to from , Latvia really?????

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 4:39pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    The whole idea of UEFA at the time was to hold in so many European countries and after the break up of Yugoslavia, the USSR and so many other countries declaring independence then we should allow conferdations to also see fit. Splitting UEFA into two should have happened a long time ago and having it on a West / East divide would be the best idea. No meaning to say hey lets have an iron curtain but UEFA gets the most World Cup spots when other nations never get a look in.Africa have just as many countries as Europe yet 5 World Cup places. Asia in the same boat.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 4:48pm on 20 Jan 2011, Yasin wrote:

    if israel is in the middle east, it should be participating with the other arab countries.even though it is hostile for them there, doesnt mean they should just be allowed into uefa and allowed to take part in Euro Championships.otherwise i suppose north korea should be allowed into uefa seeing as most surrounding countries are hostile to it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 4:54pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 80. At 4:58pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @78 - Well North Korea has borders with Russia so according to a lot of people here it would qualify for Uefa.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 4:59pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paul Merison wrote:

    @73, with one or two exceptions, the theme of the argument has not been bashing Turkey. I don't understand why an interesting debate has to have aggression thrown in for no reason.

    The issue is an interesting one. Whilst some continents seem fairly well defined to someone looking at a globe (although the true definition of a continent is rather more involved), the fact remains that I am in Singapore and can walk to London without getting my feet wet. Several "continents" are attached to each other geographically, and the dividing lines are not always clear. Parts of Sudan will shortly (probably) have to decide whether to go with the north or the south, because they sit in the middle and could argue either. Culture, religion, economics will all have an impact, and the Turkey situation is similar.

    If Turkey prefers Europe (despite the fact they would qualify far more often if they took their other option, where they would surely be the favourite every time), let them.

    Kazakstan, as several have said, is historical and based on the USSR break-up. Should every new country have been offered Europe? Probably not, but they were, and Kazakstan took their choice of being hammered over and over again.

    Israel is clearly not in Europe, but as has already been said it would be almost impossible for them to play against their neighbours. And they are in Eurovision after all, so that proves it.

    UEFA is not too big. It is big because Europe, like Africa, has 50+ nations. The groups system for qualifying already breaks it down into an attempt at roughly equal leagues, and I think it works fairly well with many groups decided at the last set of matches. Just imagine if it were more regional, with Group 1 Spain, Portugal, Andorra, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein. Group 2 Italy, San Marino, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Group 3 England, Scotland, Wales.....interesting, and lower carbon emissions from travelling to games, but rather imbalanced I fear.

    Could have sworn this article was about the end of a famous stadium, yet we have had politics, advanced tectonic plate analysis, and accusations of all sorts of nonsense.

    Calm it people, and let us all enjoy the beauty of football, where teams that are supposed to never struggle (Liverpool, Villa, Everton, Stuttgart) or get stuffed 10-0 (Feyenoord) or not finish 1st (Bayern) are all proving what a beautiful game it is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 5:00pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Nice to see the moderators remove my post about two certain Leeds United fans who met an untimely demise because they are afraid of offending anybody

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 5:03pm on 20 Jan 2011, Willo77 wrote:

    66. At 3:47pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:
    ...In Europe its all the same too, with Andorra, San Marino,
    Litchenstein and soon Gibraltar

    Have we finally battered Spain's FA and UEFA into submission? Will Gibraltar finally be allowed to compete? I somehow doubt it. Don't forget, both UEFA and FIFA dislike all things British....

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 5:04pm on 20 Jan 2011, Mark wrote:

    Very interesting debate. If you want to go down the 'cultural association' route then I reckon that Turkey is more European than say Poland and the other Slavic countries that drew a lot of associations from Genghis Khan and his chums back in the day. You're right, I don't know what I'm talking about really and why can't we just accept what we have?

    There are too many countries taking part now so there should really be some kind of divisional system for tournament qualification though (sorry to mention sport) with maybe a mini World Cup for all the small/second division countries to give them some kind of incentive for participation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 5:04pm on 20 Jan 2011, codzie85 wrote:

    @62 aardware, it's both! You're right the bottom line on the profit sheet is really the main driver, although it's odd that on an England to France overnight ferry I got a text from my network saying 'Welcome to iceland.'
    Back to the point of the comment, it seems that football abides by no rule but it's own...geography? Nope. Politics? Also no. So Turkey IS in Europe and unless your name is Blatter, like it or lump it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 5:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, Willo77 wrote:

    75. At 4:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, SweatyImp wrote:
    Ladies, Ladies, you're all pretty and there is no need to argue.
    In my experience ther eis only 1 way to settle this and consult the oracle of all thing european. See below for a list of all the 39 entrants into the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
    Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR, Macedonia, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
    QED The Turks are OK but sadly the Khazaks failed the entry test.



    So Italy are no longer in Europe eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 5:09pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Lets do a little head to head for the benefit of isoGS

    UEFA Cup:
    Winners (1): 1999-2000
    UEFA Super Cup:
    Winners (1): 2000
    [edit] Domestic competitionsTurkish Super League: (shared-record)
    Winners (17): 1961–62, 1962–63, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2007–08
    Turkish Cup: (record)
    Winners (14): 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1973, 1976, 1982, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2005
    Turkish Super Cup:
    Winners (1): 2008

    Manchester United

    League titles x 18 1907–08, 1910–11, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
    FA Cup: 11
    1908–09, 1947–48, 1962–63, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
    League Cup: 4
    1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10
    FA Charity/Community Shield: 15
    1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1983, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010
    European Cup/UEFA Champions League: 3
    1967–68, 1998–99, 2007–08
    UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1
    1990–91
    UEFA Super Cup: 1
    1991
    WorldwideIntercontinental Cup: 1
    1999
    FIFA Club World Cup: 1
    2008

    Head to Head

    Galatasary v Manchester United

    League Titles 17 18 +1
    National Cup 14 15 +1
    National Super Cup 1 15 +14
    UEFA European Cup 0 3 +3
    UEFA ECWC Cup 0 1 +1
    UEFA Cup 1 0 -1
    UEFA Super Cup 1 1 0
    Intercontienal Cup 0 1 +1
    FIFA World Club Cup 0 1 +1

    I rest my case

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 5:11pm on 20 Jan 2011, sprinkled_with_emulsion wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 89. At 5:11pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    People who suggests a division of europe into stronger teams and second tier teams do not get the idea. If Germany , France , England and some other countries would only play each other how entertaining that would be ? Wouldnt it be more fun to see the underdog to beat bigger teams once in a while ??Would football not benefit from this? Stop being idiots and racists just try to enjoy football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 5:16pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paul Merison wrote:

    Lots of countries are hostile to North Korea? I think it might be the other way round actually.

    The World Cup should have the best teams playing in it in my opinion - that is what everyone wants to watch. On that basis, more places should be awarded to Europe. But of course they shouldn't be, or it protects European countries too much. We also want to see variety and a "world" cup, not just Europe v South America. So we have the current system, and most of the best teams get in to the Finals. Seems generally well balanced to me.

    I suppose one method to make it potentially more open would be to have twice as many countries "qualify" as are needed for the Finals, and then have a home-and-away play off to halve the numbers ... but with countries not facing those from the same federation.

    If Europe deserves its big allocation of places, it would prove it by winning more of the playoffs than it lost.

    In fact, why not just run the whole thing like a big FA Cup, and do knockout rather than divisional qualifications? And make the draw open, just for fun.

    You just know England would get Argentina or Germany in the first round every time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 5:19pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @89 - although it does amuse me to see England struggle to beat the likes of Andorra, watching Germany batter San Marino 13-0 isn't entertainment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 5:22pm on 20 Jan 2011, Mighty Rubble wrote:

    Interesting how this topic seems to have left football in the distance. As a matter of fact, Turks as a race are from central Asia, like Kazaks. But Istanbul is and always has been a European city and is the capital. Huns, after whom Hungary is named, also came from central Asia, as did Bulgars -- guess who's named after them?? All humans apparently originated from Africa. Most of Russia is in Asia. All of Israel is in Asia. Azebaijan is nowhere near Europe and Azeris are essentially Persians. Does any of this matter, most European teams, particularly in the West are filled with foreigners. We're talking football here. The Ali Sami Yen has a special place in European football history. That's it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 5:24pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    I do enjoy football and what I am saying is that teams like Everton, Sunderland, Blackburn, Bolton, Birmingham even Blackpool would give your beloved Galatasary the biggest beating of their lives. Turkish football aside from one fluke in 2000 have never been able to repeat that success. Dont forget also thats when the European Cup was expanded to allow 3rd placed teams and the European Cup Winners Cup was disbanded so the UEFA Cup actually became weaker and therefore not seen with the prestidge it used to have. Win an European Cup then you can come crowing

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 5:26pm on 20 Jan 2011, Mighty Rubble wrote:

    @88 Israel only play in Europe because all of their Arab neighbours refused to play them and got them kicked out of the AFC. They briefly competed in Oceania. Europe them showed the Arab countries how to behave like adults and invited them into UEFA. Don't blame Israel for competing in Europe. They wouldn't have to if their neighbours weren't so pathetic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 5:26pm on 20 Jan 2011, baldpool wrote:

    No 30. Forest Tom: Turkey's capitol is Ankara, not Istanbul!

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 5:32pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    TyrantVer7

    You obviously do not a little thing called ECONOMY

    £1 is 2.5 TL today

    ALI SAMI YEN was great stadium for us but it was only 17.000 seats where as OLD TRAFFORD has a capacity of 76.000 plus I am not even talking about the premier league rights , the merchandising etc, MAN UTD is worth a £1.5 billion they have an income of £360.000.000 with this kind of money they should win everything every year

    93-94 season first game 3-3 at Old Trafford second leg 0-0 in HELL , probably giggsy was worth alone the price of our whole team but we kicked MAN UTD`s ass... Because of that game UEFA changed the system and started seeded teams to go into the group stages automatically before that everyone was playing qualification games.

    if you read Phil`s blog we are now moving into a 52.000 seater stadium which will generate a $100.000.000 a year so hopefully Glazers will decide to get their £600.000.000 from man utd and you will go into admission....and we will rise like phoenix from Istanbul and beat the likes of you.

    If GALATASARAY OR ANY TURKISH TEAM WOULD HAVE THAT KIND OF MONEY WE WOULD BE WINNING EVERYTHING.... EVEN THOSE YELLOW BIRDS ACROSS THE BOSPORUS....





    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 5:34pm on 20 Jan 2011, TC72 wrote:

    I agree with some of 88's statement but none of their rationale.

    Someone mentioned earlier that Israel should be playing in Europe as everyone around them hates them but shouldn't sports like football be opening doors which could lead to future relationships. Surely not even allowing neighbouring countries to meet is slamming that door shut. I might be wrong haven't Iran/Iraq and North and South Korea met on the pitch when their diplomatic relations have been far from friendly.

    Phil - The comments have gone way off topic but it's nice to see some articles on here covering areas away from the EPL and La Liga.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 5:36pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Its time for the European Champions Cup to go back to the old format of national champions and the defending champions of Europe. It was all to do with money right from the start. Bring back the European Cup Winners Cup as the English FA Cup as certainly lost a lot of its prestidge and only thanks to teams from the Premier League using it as a reserves try out for rounds 3 and 4.

    If we limited prestigeous events like the Champions Cup to the teams that deserve it then it would make the national leagues more comepetive. Its really heart rendering and abysmal that a team can win the league 20 points ahead of the team that finished 4th yet that team gets to have a chance to win the same competition. Why should the champions of Iceland have to play more qualifying rounds than the 4th placed team of Italy??

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 6:09pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    isoGS

    You live in a fantasy world where your team will win the European Cup and one day win the UEFA European Championship as Turkey, well hold on
    ..... Greece did didnt they and you havent

    And before you ask how many England have won,
    how many World Cups have you won ???

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 6:20pm on 20 Jan 2011, sprinkled_with_emulsion wrote:

    Israel is not accepted by it's neighbouring countries for good reasons.
    Why Uefa tolerate them, I have no idea. They have absolutely so connection with Europe and no-one ants to know them. It's not for no reason.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 6:20pm on 20 Jan 2011, dmplatt12 wrote:

    @93

    HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED TURKISH FOOTBALL??? FENERBAHCE, GALATASARY, OR BESIKTAS COULD ALL BEAT ANY EPL TEAM IN ISTANBUL!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 6:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, lufcforever1986 wrote:

    Theres alot of irrelevant comments on this thread. Thats ok though, because they are all linked to an article that didn't need to be written, if you had an article on every team that moved stadium there wouldn't be any time to write informative and interesting pieces.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 6:25pm on 20 Jan 2011, over_there wrote:

    @86
    So the land of Pavarotti and Bocelli missed out on Eurovision. Nice to know there is at least one country in Europe with some culture left.

    And wandering vaguely back to the topic...

    I like the look of the new stadium. It might not be hell, but I'd be prepared to bet it'll have a lot more atmosphere than the one the we're scrapping over in East London.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 6:36pm on 20 Jan 2011, Wiener Student wrote:

    @84 MARK
    "Very interesting debate. If you want to go down the 'cultural association' route then I reckon that Turkey is more European than say Poland and the other Slavic countries that drew a lot of associations from Genghis Khan and his chums back in the day."

    Nope. Also, most Slavic countries made political (and, subsequently, cultural) choices that involved them in Europe as early as 10th century, such as accepting Catholicism or becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire. You may dismiss "cultural association" as irrelevant to the topic of football - indeed, why not - but please, do not post rubbish claiming that, esentially, nothing matters as far as cultural association is concerned. The fact that you know nothing of it does not mean it does not exist nor that it cannot be traced.

    @92 MightyRubble
    Interestingly, no. You may talk about race all you want, but DNA research shows that todays Turks are ethnically closer to the Greeks and other Balkan nations than to Central Asians (or indeed Arabs). Your eyes would tell you the same if you actually knew what your average native "Middle Asian" looks like. The fact that the Turkic people who invaded Anatolia in the 11th century came from central Asia has very little to do with what Turks are like today, after nine centuries of mingling with locals and peoples imported as slaves.

    Pity the debate that was supposed to concern whether it is effective to have so many countries in UEFA got derailed to whether Turkey was in Europe. Because it could be useful to rearrange the current paradigm, so that more countries would actually get a shot at being at the world cup. I would strongly favour cross-federation playoffs for qualifiers, so we would have the very best of all continents at the World Cup. Also, African and Asian nations would stop crying about not having a chance to qualify.

    I do believe, however, that as long as being part of UEFA means a chance of playing against Real Madrid, Barcelona or Arsenal, all Turkish clubs would be against their exit from UEFA. Not only for prestige reasons, but they would have much harder time attracting players from Europe and money from advertisement and TV deals. I do doubt this would be outweighed by having a bigger chance of making it to the World Cup for their national team.

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 6:36pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonny_Los_Angeles wrote:

    "...the semis against Leeds Utd which we still regret about what happened near Taksim Square."

    Too bad the real football fans in Istanbul have not pressed their government to properly deal with the murderers of Chris and Kevin, may they rest in peace.

    For many English fans, and particularly Leeds fans (now this comment will probably be deleted), the unfortunate thought that immediately springs to mind when discussing this club and its ground is the murder of these two fans, which has still not been dealt with in a just manner by the legal system in Turkey all these years later.

    Conveniently, this nostalgic piece omits any mention of this stain on its history.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 6:38pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonny_Los_Angeles wrote:

    "Its time for the European Champions Cup to go back to the old format of national champions and the defending champions of Europe. It was all to do with money right from the start. Bring back the European Cup Winners Cup as the English FA Cup as certainly lost a lot of its prestidge and only thanks to teams from the Premier League using it as a reserves try out for rounds 3 and 4."

    Well stated but too much tv money probably prevents this logical step from happening!

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 6:47pm on 20 Jan 2011, qualityreading wrote:

    I would like to Echo Post Nr.16

    ------

    Good idea. Lets eulogise about this old ground...

    RIP Kevin and Chris

    ------


    The fact is that Galatasaray/Turkish clubs got away with without the sanctions that would have been inflicted on some other UEFA nations including England.

    UEFA were at one point keen to kick Poland out because there was a government purge on corrupt officials, that UEFA said was the sate intervening in domestic politics?!? Added to this the continued persecution of Russian teams such as Spartak (vs Zilina).

    People were killed and there is, to this day, no satisfactory closure on what happened to those Leeds fans.

    For me, the Ali Sam Yen is always going to be remembered as a place of violence and intimidation.

    I remember when Galatasaray played Leeds (in Leeds) fans were there with banners reading "Welcome to Civilisation."

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 6:56pm on 20 Jan 2011, Jonny_Los_Angeles wrote:

    "I remember when Galatasaray played Leeds (in Leeds) fans were there with banners reading 'Welcome to Civilisation.' "

    Nice!!!

    I had not heard about that before.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 7:04pm on 20 Jan 2011, TurnipCruncher wrote:

    Whoever it was that said they could walk from Singapore (an island) to London (on an island) without getting their feet wet either has a messiah complex or a devastating lack of geography knowledge.

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 7:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, Erdles - Only One Aaron Ramsey wrote:

    People disputing Turkey's place in UEFA are rather missing the point and dragging this into a vague discussion about Turkey's general cultural identity. This isn't about Turkey's history, it's about Turkish football's history.

    UEFA was formed in 1954 and Turkey joined in 1955. At this stage Turkish football already had professional regional leagues in Istanbul (founded in 1951), Ankara (founded in 1954) and Izmir (founded in 1955). Within 4 years a national professional league had been established, a precursor to the current Super League.

    In all 3 of these industrialized cities football had been flourishing since the 20s, with working class fans flocking to fill fairly large stadiums on Sundays (the traditional day for football fixtures in Turkey). The early development in regional leagues led to fierce local rivalries and an elevated status for derby games which continues to this day.

    So when Turkey joined UEFA it was as a country that was developing its football in much the same way as the rest of Europe. It was a sport and an industry being powered by the passion and interest of the working classes looking for entertainment and an outlet for local pride on the weekends.

    At the time the notion that Turkey would join a Middle-Eastern association was absurd. Professional leagues in the Middle-East didn't develop until the 70s, 80s and 90s, with most of the impetus coming from the wealthy rather than the working classes.

    As for now... Turkey is still far superior in terms of its football development to the Middle-East, and in any case - it would be a ridiculous move for anyone to try and oust them out of UEFA. There's no legal precedent, there's no legal reason for it - and given the country's history as a UEFA member it would be an outrageous move for any official to even contemplate.

    Turkey are here to stay in UEFA, and I personally think UEFA is a much richer federation for it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 7:19pm on 20 Jan 2011, Snoddy Snoddy Snoddy Oi Oi Oi wrote:

    "Too bad the real football fans in Istanbul have not pressed their government to properly deal with the murderers of Chris and Kevin, may they rest in peace."

    Took the thoughts right out of my mind there mate. Very good post.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 7:23pm on 20 Jan 2011, over_there wrote:

    @109
    I believe you can walk across a bridge from Singapore Island and, while you might get arrested, walking though the tunnel is probably quicker than anything Eurotunnel have put down there.

    Anyway, I think all these Geography lessons are a bit irrelevant. What matters surely is the football tradition and Phil sums it up perfectly: "the Ali Sami Yen will still go down in European Cup and Champions League folklore".

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 7:56pm on 20 Jan 2011, GigiBuffon1 wrote:

    @93

    If all you're going to do is have an unnecessary dig at Turkish football, why post? Why post stupid comments saying a bunch of mid-table Premier League clubs would give Galatasaray the biggest beating of their lives? Just over a year ago Besiktas went to Old Trafford and won. They also beat Liverpool fairly recently. Fenerbahce also beat Chelsea in 2008.

    It's arrogant comments from Premier League fans like you which make me dislike English football so much. It's this arrogance, disrespect, and xenophobia that means the World Cup isn't coming to this country. I say this as an Englishman as well.

    As for the rest of the comments, it's embarrassing that most of them are about a petty argument relating to how much of Turkey is in Europe. Why not discuss the football?

    Finally, Turkish fans create a great atmosphere which is an amazing sight in itself. I just hope that unlike the new grounds in England, which have a poor atmosphere, the atmostphere in the Turk Telecom Arena will match the Ali Sami Yen.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 7:58pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    107 That guy who stabbed Leeds fans is in Jail right now and will serve 20 year sentence but reduced to 10 or something.

    IF LEEDS IS WHERE CIVILIZATION IS HAHAHA YOU ARE IN DANGER , IT IS HAS THE HIGHEST CRIME RATING IN UK... KNIFE AND GANG VIOLENCE IS ALSO THE HIGHEST IN UK.

    THAT AWFUL EVENT HAPPENED AND AS A GS FAN I AM TRULY SORRY I WISH THAT WE STILL HAD THE DEATH PENALTY AND THE MONSTER WHO STABBED Kevin Spelight and Christopher John Loftus would be hanged, one of them was stabbed 22 times , what sort of a mind state do you have to be in to stab someone 22 times...

    The 16 others were sentenced between 5 to 10 years also

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 8:01pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    also to 105

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 8:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, Ackwern wrote:

    Swiss,
    Think you are being a bit of geographic pedant. To try to "place" Turkey purely in a geographical context as a prerequisite for affiliation is ludicrous. There are many anomaly's has has been pointed out - Israel being the most bizarre on pure geographic grounds. England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland have separate national teams for historical reasons. Turkey is affiliated to Europe because the oldest Turkish clubs are in Istanbul which lies mainly in Europe. Turks have much more European ancestry than Arab. Turks are Muslim but are not Arabs. Kurds are Muslim but Indo-European, even though they inhabit the borders of Iraq, Iran and Syria. To try to pigeon-hole as you are doing doesn't work.
    Armenia is further East than Turkey - but they are European. Moscow lies much further east than Istanbul. Should Russia therefore also play in Asian groups using your logic?

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 8:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, mehmet1 wrote:

    I notice that most commentators forget the past of human history as far as 1000 years.TUrks first embarked to Europe with Attila the hun about bc 4th century.Todays Germany. Austria and partly France and England's Kent town settlers to be turkish origin.In the world, first Blue eyed human'origin was from Turkish origin.Ottoman Empire was always in close contact with Europeans from 11 century to 20th century.
    There is a book written by American, G.M.Matlock,
    Title; 'What strange Mystery Unites The Turkish Nations, India, Catholicism and Mexico'
    It says:People of world Do you know You are all Turkish?
    Your DNA can prove it.!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 8:09pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 119. At 8:10pm on 20 Jan 2011, cgg2033 wrote:

    I don't have a problem with Turkey playing in Europe personally.

    As for the rest of the comments, yes their national team have improved leaps and bounds. They reached two semi-finals in recent years although didn't qualify for anything inbetween.

    Their clubs in my opinion have been shockingly bad in Europe, I know Gala won the UEFA Cup but other than that with some of the players and investment they have had, they've been very disappointing. Bursaspor for example were shockingly poor.

    But this is not to say they won't improve, as I am sure they will. Whether or not they will ever compete to win an international tournament or have their clubs competing at the end stages of the Europea Cup I don't know, but it's a massive country and a football-mad one too.

    Good luck to them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 8:37pm on 20 Jan 2011, Boshorange wrote:

    Football is a global game that is supposed to free from other politics, that thrives on the wonderful mixture of culture and customs offered by different fans from different backgrounds in differenct cities. Does it not just help to make football all the more beautiful, entertaining and glamourous when it has this diversity, regardless of geographical location?
    We should be honoured that Turkey wants to be part of Europe's football legacy. Its football culture and its fans have much to offer, including passion and entertainment. Is that not what we want, what the game needs to keep us in love with it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 8:40pm on 20 Jan 2011, Rob918 wrote:

    @ 101- So you say Fenerbache, Besiktas or Galatasaray could beat any EPL team in Istanbul? Thats probably why the Turkish teams haven't got too many finals in Europe due to the fact theres two legs in European football and held at, in most cases, a neutral stadium.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 9:09pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    I would like to state that if European club football is to progress forward then the Turkish fans moaning about how much money is being spent should take a look at FC Porto, they won a UEFA Cup and then Champions Cup in 2003 / 04 and hardly spent any money in the effort. Its not about who can buy the best players, the best players dont make the best teams. Manchester United have kept the neucleus of the same team for the past 8 seasons or so. UEFA truly is over bloated in terms of clubs within it and its time to trim the number of teams in the Champions League.

    And I would love to see any Istanbul team play Manchester United reserves, they would still get a good kicking

    MUFC First XI Second XI

    Van Der Saar Lindegaard
    Vidic Smalling
    Evra Neville
    Ferdinand O'Shea
    R Da Silva Brown
    Nani Scholes
    Park Fletcher
    Giggs Cleverly
    Carrick Berbatov
    Rooney Hernandez
    Anderson Owen

    So I wouldnt even fancy your chances against United reserves
    Valencia

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 9:10pm on 20 Jan 2011, Total_Football_Jewell formerly AFK wrote:

    Swiss Colony, the issue I have is you've attempted to damage a team's integrity, by claiming it is only the 'mickeymouse' cup of Europe in their history.

    You clearly have no idea on the history of the Uefa Cup or it's predecessor, because it isn't mickey mouse at all. Back in the day, when only the winners of the country played in the European Cup, every 2 or 3 teams below them played in the UEFA Cup - a far harder competition to win than the Cup Winners Cup or even the European Cup, due to the number of matches you have to play, and the quality of opposition (Nations in Europe, the big ones tend to have more than one 'good' team).

    Your bigoted view that totally discredits the achievements of great European clubs - Galatasaray is one, regardless of whether they lost 5-0 to Chelsea once, or haven't fulfilled your requirements for European membership, or haven't done well in Europe recently.

    The politics regarding whether a nation should be, or shouldn't be in Europe, isn't for you to determine. Turkey have no less right to be part of Europe than us, you fool - because we are not located on European's mainland either. Travel isn't much of an issue either.

    Ridiculous

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 9:15pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Yes .... Going to watch English teams play in Turkey is such a wonderful occasion. Lets see, families being smacked over the head by riot police in full gear beating parents trying to protect their children. Two fans stabbed to death. When Liverpool fans ran riot at Hysel in 1985, it just wasnt those who were punished but ALL English clubs as UEFA wanted to make an example of them. It took 6 long hard seasons, but we came back and dominated. Since 1991, English teams won

    1991 Manchester United ECWC
    1994 Arsenal ECWC
    1998 Chelsea ECWC
    1999 Manchester United ECC
    2001 Liverpool UEFA
    2005 Liverpool ECC
    2008 Manchester United ECC

    Turkey

    2000 Galatasary EUFA

    Hmmmm

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 9:36pm on 20 Jan 2011, GigiBuffon1 wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHJ9AN1UZl4

    Hmmm...

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 9:50pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    One battle doesnt win the war

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 10:00pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @123

    2000 Uefa Cup. Galatasary came third in their group, behind pre-Abrahomivich Chelsea and Herte Berlin in the CL so dropped into the Uefa cup at a later stage so your argument of 1) more, harder games in invalid and 2) this was when the CL had more than just the league winner, so the UEFA cup never had the same quality of teams as you claim.

    UEFA cup = teams placing third or fourth in the major leagues or maybe 1st and 2nd from the less strong leagues + Champion's League losers = Mickey-Mouse cup. You can argue all you want, but no one really cares who isn't in it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 10:12pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    swiss chocolate

    The teams GALATASARAY beat during the 1999- 2000 season

    Last game of the groups AC MILAN 3-2 in ISTANBUL

    then on to UEFA cup
    Bolonga
    Borusssia Dortmund (from CL)
    Real Mallorca Also from CL
    Leeds United Also eliminated from CL
    ARSENAL also from CL and we did it unbeaten

    Now we have much more money coming our way you will see us in the CL and in Europe more then you like...

    TyrantVer7

    Second team yes ok go back a year even Besiktas beat you in Old trafford , also Fenerbahce (which I hate to mention here, they are called the yellow canaries , birds) they beat u 3-0 in Istanbul.

    There is only one thing that no one can deny the Turkish economy is getting stronger and the teams are making much more money right now , tell me this what is going to keep you from turning in to Liverpool ??? what if the glazers got feed up start selling all ur player (RONALDO, TEVEZ) AND YOU TURN IN TO ASTON VILLA OR WORSE NEWCASTLE?? THEN WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO WAVE YELLOW GREEN SCARFS???

    LIKE IT OR NOT WE ARE COMING!!!!!!!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 10:15pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    The lefacy of moving into a new stadium here in England hasnt always been a blessing. In fact aside from Arsenal, almost every team that moved into a new stadium suffered relegation with a few seasons

    Arsenal - Highbury - Ashburton Grove - 2006 ... Havent won a trophy since moving into the new stadium

    Derby County - Baseball Ground - Pride Park - 1997 ... Suffered relegation in 2002 and Derby County suffered from financial hardship ever since, promoted once back to EPL but relegated after one season

    Southampton FC - The Dell - St Marys - 2001 ... Relegated from EPL in 2004 and then suffered a further relegation in 2009.

    Manchester City - Maine Road - City Of Manchester - 2003 ... Since moving into the new stadium, City have'nt won a major cup in 30 years.

    Leicester City - Filbert Street - Walkers Stadium - 2002 ... Leicester were relegated the season that the new stadium opened. Relegated into 3rd tier in 2008 but bounced back on first attempt.

    Coventry City - Highfield Road - Rioch Arena - 2005 ... Coventry City were relegated in 2001 and this was seen as a boost to a promotion that never came.

    Middlesborough - Ayresome Park - Riverside - 1996 ... Middlesboro were relegated in 1997 but returned after 1 season but were relegated again in 2008 after poor results.

    Bolton Wanderers - Burnden Park - Reebok Stadium - 1998 ... Relegated in same season they moved in.

    So it seems that moving into a new stadium can be quite the curse !!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 10:15pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 131. At 10:16pm on 20 Jan 2011, Bluenose wrote:

    To Swiss Colony.

    re: Graeme Souness

    No, Souness planted the flag in the centre circle of the ground of rivals Fenerbahce, after his Galatasaray team had beaten the home side in the Turkish Cup Final.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 10:17pm on 20 Jan 2011, ottoman_qalatasaray1905 wrote:

    thank u Phil Minshull ,,new hell TT ARENA

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 10:21pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Who keeps Manchester United from turning into Liverpool ??? Hmmm lets see

    We have had Alex Ferguson manager since 1986
    Liverpool have had

    Kenny Dalglish 1986 - 1991
    Graham Souness 1991 - 1994
    Roy Evans 1994 - 1999
    Gerard Houllier 1998 - 2004
    Rafa Benitez 2004 - 2010
    Roy Hodgson 2010
    Kenny Dalglish 2011 -

    So stablilty, not spending as much as Liverpool, they spend more than Manchester United in those seasons. It seems Turkish football are maybe too scared to play middle eastern opposition

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 10:22pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    HAHAHAHAHAHHA THOSE TEAMS YOU MENTIONED DID WIN SQUAT BEFORE THEY MOVED EITHER!!!!!! JUST GO TO WIKIPEDIA AND SEARCH GALATASARAY YOU MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING. WE ARE MUCH MORE THEN A FOOTBALL CLUB IN FACT WE ARE A SPORTS CLUB AND OUR HISTORY GOES BACK till we were established in 1481.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galatasaray_Lisesi

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 10:30pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    if sir alex which i really admire will be healthy enough to manage and once he is gone oh boy i wish you get rafa , he will really screw any team :)))

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 10:31pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galatasaray_S.K.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 10:33pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    we also have university and an islet in the most expensive place in Europe
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galatasaray_Islet

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 10:36pm on 20 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    I couldnt care less if they were founded 1000 years ago, Galatasary have no right to be in Europe as they dont even have anything to do with Europe culturally, geographically or historically,

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 10:43pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    well u r 8 i guess no point in arguing

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 11:05pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paul in Oz wrote:

    Nice to see the 'racist card' being played as frequently as ever. Why is it that anybody who makes any sort of comment about another nation is instantly branded a 'racist'. It's just lazy debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 11:10pm on 20 Jan 2011, RobertSpencer77 wrote:

    No one has mentioned Russia as a team that should not be in Europe. A country that has borders with North Korea, China and Mongolia and only 30 miles from Alaska.

    There are domestic teams in the UK that play football in neighbouring countries. Examples being Cardiff and Swansea play in the English League. Berwick Rangers Play in the Scottish League. Newport County also play in the football league conference. Colwyn Bay play in English Non league tier north west counties.
    There was a debate when Cardiff got to the FA Cup final should they take an English european place if they were to win it. Should Cardiff play in the premiership? Celtic and Rangers joining the premiership has been a discussion, do we send two english teams to Scotland to replace them, Imagine having Wigan and West ham playing Aberdeen and Hamilton next season.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 11:16pm on 20 Jan 2011, RobertSpencer77 wrote:

    from wikipedia

    The territory of the EU is not the same as that of Europe, as parts of the continent are outside the EU, such as Switzerland, Norway and European Russia. Some parts of member countries are not part of the EU, despite forming part of the European continent (for example the Channel Islands and Faroe Islands). Several territories associated with member states that are outside geographic Europe are also not part of the EU (such as Greenland, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles and all the non-European territories associated with the United Kingdom). Some overseas territories are part of the EU even if they are not geographically part of Europe, such as the Azores, the Canary Islands, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Madeira, Martinique, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin."
    Source and further information:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union#Geography

    Read more: Why is Turkey considered a European country even though the largest part of the country is in Asia? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2386#ixzz1BcWS9Jwv

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 11:28pm on 20 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    Not a clever blog Phil.

    Just a chance to let a load of idiots drag up ancient history and display their Xenophobia. Bricks and Greenhouses comes to mind!

    That said, all the best to Galatasaray, If Hagi can begin to approach the genius he displayed as a player in his management, they will do all right.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 11:33pm on 20 Jan 2011, mpkisr wrote:

    #9 what about Israel?

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 11:35pm on 20 Jan 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    @140 - Thank you. You'll notice that none of the posters here could back up their accusations when challenged.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 11:36pm on 20 Jan 2011, mpkisr wrote:

    RE: my last comment, and in response to the person who commented before me, if culture and history get you into UEFA then surely Israel has as much right to be there as any European country. Rich European heitage there for you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 11:47pm on 20 Jan 2011, Paul in Oz wrote:

    mpk87 wrote:
    RE: my last comment, and in response to the person who commented before me, if culture and history get you into UEFA then surely Israel has as much right to be there as any European country. Rich European heitage there for you.

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

    Australia is a Hell of a lot more 'European' than Turkey is ever likely to be. Can we apply to UEFA? :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 11:52pm on 20 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    @147 ha ha will it would be the next logical move after Asia lol

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 11:55pm on 20 Jan 2011, thefrogstar wrote:

    I guess it's a good thing no one has described the club as being from Constantinople or Byzantium......

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 11:59pm on 20 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    Paul in OZ please stay where u are!!!! Half of ur national team plays in Turkey by the way so u r sort of here in europe

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 00:03am on 21 Jan 2011, RobertSpencer77 wrote:

    anyway, before continental drift 500 million years ago, we were all one big happy continent

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 00:07am on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    To everyone who say we are not in Europe !!

    Nothing to do with european culture? Your ignorance is blinding my friends, Galataray as in "Lycée de Galatasaray", where the club was founded in 1905 takes its roots from a francophone culture embedded in an historical relationship with France. Now if you assume that France is not in Europe, then go back to school and learn some geography and history while at it.


    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 00:16am on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    well said robert :))

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 01:50am on 21 Jan 2011, Pennyroyal14 wrote:

    dont know if anyone else has mentioned this but Frank Rijkaard actually managed the LA Galaxy in between coaching Barcelona and Galatasaray, just thought you should know.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 02:09am on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    it was ruud gullit no frank rijkard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 03:52am on 21 Jan 2011, Lufc1965 wrote:

    Glad to see the back of the place. RIP Kevin and Chris!

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 06:37am on 21 Jan 2011, Comrade 22 - I PAY YOUR WAGE AND I PAY FOR 606 wrote:

    Got bored reading this argument after about 50 comments.

    Turkey shares many more economic and cultural links with Europe than it does with Asia. Also, the geographical anomaly point is tiresome - why have so few drawn comparisons with Russia which geographically is about 30% European?

    There seen to be loads of posters on here who simply like to be a bit pedantic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 08:26am on 21 Jan 2011, helpmegarber wrote:

    I cant believe the BBC have got nothing better to report on than this.....????

    No decent English/British football supporters care about this 'club' (with one or two mindless exceptions),unless it went to the wall which is the only time i would want to read about it, perhaps the BBC 'reporter' would like to email me to try and give an explanation....????

    MOT


    RIP

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 08:35am on 21 Jan 2011, mmemch wrote:

    I think we are all spending too much time on one persons comments and arguments. It has been well established that Turkish teams belong in UEFA. Most people who have been to Turkey knows well that although there are some cultural differences it is a very modern and fun country to be in. I will not even talk about how many percent of Turkey is in Europe or not, as it is one of the most absurd things I have heard. Honestly who cares about all this. The fact is I believe most Europeans love to visit Turkey, love to see football games played here and Turkey has shown that it can compete in any UEFA competition. It is the 7 the biggest league financially after Russia, and does very well in competitions. Even if it doesnt, do you want to boot bulgaria out of UEFA cause they cant compete? what about sweden? Turkey does much better than them both internationally and on club levels. I think anyone who loves football should welcome any country close enough to travel for away games, who puts money into their teams, stadiums and who loves football. Don't you enjoy a game when your teams visit Turkey to play Galatasaray, Fenerbahce or Besiktas? Do you not get exited? Do you not watch competitive soccer? Thats what it is all about my friends, the rest is all cheap talk. Show me a good game and I am satisfied. AND NO ONE CAN DENY THEY WATCH GOOD FOOTBALL GAMES INTERNATIONALL AND ON CLUB LEVELS WHEN TURKEY IS INVOLVED.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 08:37am on 21 Jan 2011, costlessthanberbatov wrote:

    "Too bad the real football fans in Istanbul have not pressed their government to properly deal with the murderers of Chris and Kevin, may they rest in peace."

    Very well said. Mr Minshull you ought to be ashamed to have completely failed to aknowledge what is really the most shamefully relevant link that English fans would consider when this organisation is discussed.

    That they were not kicked out of the competition and banned, as teams like Liverpool were for the trouble caused in the 1980's is a disgrace and you haven't even mentioned it.

    This is a country with an appalling justice system, who allowed murderers to walk free. This wasn't casual violence it was cold-blooded murder and Turkey as a nation ought to be ashamed of the way they dealt with it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 08:45am on 21 Jan 2011, brendan1980 wrote:

    What the article doesn't say and probably should, is that most footballs fans would be united in thnking that it's about time this hell hole ,was demolished. Galatasary fans are pure evil. I notice a lot of comments on here have been deleted, probably like this one will, and I suspect it is for comments like this one.

    I suggest you show this article to the families of the two innocent Leeds fans murdered by Galatasary fans 10 years ago, and see what response you get. The famalies of the murderers are said to have told their children that british people should be punished and are activley teaching their young to seek revenge!!

    I wrote this with much stronger language and, as a Leeds fan, I am disgusted with this article. I had to rewrite it in the hope of the comment NOT being deleted. I am trusting this site to show ALL peoples feelings and not just the good comments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 08:49am on 21 Jan 2011, mmemch wrote:

    For the leeds fans that lost their lives. This is a huge problem in football in Turkey and other countries as well. There is no excuse what happeden and I do believe my own team Galatasaray should have been punished more harshly. But I believe italy is much worse when it comes to fan violence. So is Serbia. I have been to most Galatasaray games the past 15 years. The chants and the atmosphere is to put fear into the other team, I have not seen cases where other teams fans were harrased or hurt. Almost always I can see other teams fans walking around in their jerseys in the middle of Galatasaray fans and no one bothers them. Leeds case was very different. I do not blame any of them, and repeat that there is no excuse on what happened. But to my knowledge Leeds fans got super drunk, thrashed a Mcdonals and its windows, and were nearly lynched by a very angry crowd in response. Unfortunately fans have lost their lives in England, Italy and many other countries due to hooliganism before. But this is a global problem and not just a Turkish problem. If you ask me, harsher punishments are the only way all around the world, otherwise we will see these things happen again and we dont know where

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 08:52am on 21 Jan 2011, TheghostofBilly wrote:

    It seems a great pity that the BBC - a British organisation - can be seen to be paying homage to this place without paying the appropriate respect to the Leeds supporters murdered by fans of the club.

    If Leeds fans had ever murdered fans of another club, I would not lose my love for the club but I would be shamed into being much more humble and sheepish about talking about our fans and certainly wouldn't be able to bring myself to be as openly triumphant about our supports as Galatasaray fans are. I would, unquestionable, feel guilt by association.

    I've never once felt any sense of regret about what happened in Istanbul from Galatasaray. Either as a club or as a set of supporters. If I had, I wouldn't view them with the regrettable feeling of disdain that I do.

    Shame on the BBC for seeming not to care.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 09:07am on 21 Jan 2011, TheghostofBilly wrote:

    @ mmemch - Thanks so much for proving my point, once again, with absolutely no appropriate level of humility.

    There has never been any evidence that Leeds fans rampaged in Istanbul, no CCTV footage, no consistent account of the events. If anything, the proof that this never happened is that every Turkish account of the events is vastly different to the next. You would think, if there had been some trouble, the stories about these events would be even vaguely consistent. Would you not?

    You, like so many of your graceless peers, consistently try to temper down the responsibility of the murderers by moving the responsibility back on to Leeds fans. Cause and effect. It really is quite sickening to read when you are implicating two dead men in the accusation. Even if Leeds fans had rioted - which they did not - it still could never even get close to excusing the taking of lives. For you to even attempt to apply justification to their actions in this way says a great deal about you.

    This is why your club will always be despised and this is why the BBC should hang their heads for this piece..

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 09:11am on 21 Jan 2011, alienbumnote wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 166. At 09:21am on 21 Jan 2011, Clarkeonenil wrote:

    If the author of this piece knows so little about the subject he can't see how insulting it is to write about Galatasaray and that stadium without referencing the scandal that was the murder of two innocent Leeds United fans then as far as I'm concerned he should be sacked. How can you write about the Ali Sami Yen withoit reference to the sight of the whole away end turning its back on the game in protest to the insult of playing it 24 hours after those tragic deaths without any show of respect! The contempt we all should have for a society that has no justice for victims and promotes the aggression seen by those Turkish fans over the last 2 decades now extents to the writer of this PR pulp.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 09:21am on 21 Jan 2011, alienbumnote wrote:

    Leeds United have the loudest, most passionate and best travelling supporters in european football. RIP Chris and Kevin never forgotten Marching On Together, at least until the world stops going round.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 09:37am on 21 Jan 2011, M5J29 wrote:

    Don't care about Turkey , Manchester United or anyone else as long as Exeter City beat Plymouth Argiggle.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 09:49am on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    I have been to Turkey many times to watch football, and have always enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere created by the vast majority of their extraordinary fans. I have always found the average Turkish club team fan to be both knowledgeable and very gracious hosts. Of course, I have never gone over and got completely drunk and then decided to rampage through the host town or City........

    The giant leaps forward taken by Turkish football over the last 20 years should be applauded and clubs like Galatasaray, Bursaspor, Fenerbache, Samsunspor and Besiktas are all very competitive despite only having a fraction of the finances that many Western European clubs enjoy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 09:59am on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    164 please first read 114 and you cant just blame us the hooliganism started in England everyone knows that and cctv or no cctv you and i both know when you guys drink you just dont drink a pint. Those murderers were there with a plan unfortunately the guy who brought all the knives and gave it to the others with hopefully rot in prison, I do not ask you to forget this or anything but I dont know at least start forgiving the rest of the people who felt for kevin and chris.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 10:15am on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    160
    "That they were not kicked out of the competition and banned, as teams like Liverpool were for the trouble caused in the 1980's is a disgrace and you haven't even mentioned it"

    You obviously hate us, doesn't matter, still the heysel disaster is not the same thing as what happened in Istanbul. Liverpool fans attacked juve fans in a stadium thus killing 32 and injuring 600.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 10:22am on 21 Jan 2011, Ross C wrote:

    #124

    7 European trophies in 20 years is hardly dominant.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 10:28am on 21 Jan 2011, Eddy wrote:

    It is beyond sickening that the BBC has felt it right to glorify precisely what we have battled to eradicate in the game in this country over the past few decades.

    How UEFA have allowed this club to continue to play in 'European' Competition is beyond comprehension, if what had happened in T*rkey had happened in this country, does anyone genuinely believe England would not have been severely punished?

    This piece should be taken down and of respect, and to stop this discussion taking a wrong turn, it will only breed more hatred.

    RIP Those that lost their lives. MOT.

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 10:29am on 21 Jan 2011, Willo77 wrote:

    @103 - I was being ironic. I think Italy pulled out of Eurovision because of the voting farce. I was using it as an example of the daft way that the post was ascertaining if Turkey or Kazakhstan were in Europe...

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 10:29am on 21 Jan 2011, Eddy wrote:

    if my comment is moderated and comment number 171 isnt, i am taking my complaint as high as possible.

    Disgusting.

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 10:32am on 21 Jan 2011, TheghostofBilly wrote:

    @ iosGS Once again, it's this table-turning that makes people so angry.

    I wouldn't deny for a second that Leeds fans were drinking on the day. I wouldn't for a second deny that some Leeds fans were drunk but since when did getting drunk in a country that serves alcohol become a valid argument to justify murder? There was no rampage.

    Hooliganism certainly started in England but even when hooliganism was rife here, we didn't stab and kill people. Hooliganism is now far, far worse in most of Europe than England, we have cleaned up our act hugely.

    "IF LEEDS IS WHERE CIVILIZATION IS HAHAHA YOU ARE IN DANGER , IT IS HAS THE HIGHEST CRIME RATING IN UK... KNIFE AND GANG VIOLENCE IS ALSO THE HIGHEST IN UK."

    You said that and it's yet another outright lie. Leeds is a far safer City than many UK cities and the crime stats back that up. Yeah, it has some social problems like all cities but is far from the worst around.

    The reason it's hard to forgive the rest of Galatasaray's fans is because of this continued refusal to accept that the murders were entirely your fan's responsibility and not Leed's fan's responsibility. Until I start to see proper remorse about these events, I will always believe that you don't accept this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 10:39am on 21 Jan 2011, tonyyeboahslibido wrote:

    @76

    umm, weren't Galatasary parachuted into the UEFA Cup at the Third Round stage, after being crap and getting knocked out of the Champions League??

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 10:40am on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    171. At 10:15am on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:
    160
    "That they were not kicked out of the competition and banned, as teams like Liverpool were for the trouble caused in the 1980's is a disgrace and you haven't even mentioned it"

    You obviously hate us, doesn't matter, still the heysel disaster is not the same thing as what happened in Istanbul. Liverpool fans attacked juve fans in a stadium thus killing 32 and injuring 600.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the tragic events listed above. English clubs were banned from European competition due to a long history of hooliganism (not just the events above).

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 10:43am on 21 Jan 2011, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    Swiss, I agree with Paul that the racism card people are playing is a load of nonsense. Despite this I agree with a lot of the other people that Turkey has as much right to be in UEFA as Russia. They have been a part of Europe for hundreds of years and can not help it if western geographers decide they are mostly Asian. They are being prepared for entry to the EU and therefore can certainly be considered a proper part of Europe, I could go on but plenty of people eg post 67 have detailed all this. (I also don't believe you replied to that post despite or maybe because it was carefully thought out by someone who knows what they are talking about)

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 10:45am on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    176. At 10:32am on 21 Jan 2011, TheghostofBilly wrote:
    @ iosGS Once again, it's this table-turning that makes people so angry.

    I wouldn't deny for a second that Leeds fans were drinking on the day. I wouldn't for a second deny that some Leeds fans were drunk but since when did getting drunk in a country that serves alcohol become a valid argument to justify murder? There was no rampage.

    Hooliganism certainly started in England but even when hooliganism was rife here, we didn't stab and kill people. Hooliganism is now far, far worse in most of Europe than England, we have cleaned up our act hugely.

    "IF LEEDS IS WHERE CIVILIZATION IS HAHAHA YOU ARE IN DANGER , IT IS HAS THE HIGHEST CRIME RATING IN UK... KNIFE AND GANG VIOLENCE IS ALSO THE HIGHEST IN UK."

    You said that and it's yet another outright lie. Leeds is a far safer City than many UK cities and the crime stats back that up. Yeah, it has some social problems like all cities but is far from the worst around.

    The reason it's hard to forgive the rest of Galatasaray's fans is because of this continued refusal to accept that the murders were entirely your fan's responsibility and not Leed's fan's responsibility. Until I start to see proper remorse about these events, I will always believe that you don't accept this.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Fan got stabbed at one of the derby games in England last weekend!
    You can't blame a whole clubs fans for one tragic incident.
    There have been deaths and stabbings caused by English hooligans (Heysel)

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 10:49am on 21 Jan 2011, redandburied wrote:

    Deary me.
    What is it with the last few eh?
    A couple of Leeds fans got murdered a few years ago. A very tragic event in which the offender was sent down for (should have been longer though). That does not mean that all Galatasary fans/the Club should be hated and scorned so much. That is a different debate on football violence, which Leeds, Cardiff, West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Rangers and Celtic (to name a few with well reported incidents against their fine names) and most of the 92 professional clubs in England have pockets of scum that should not be anywhere near a member of the public and a pint due to their inability the be rational and not kick off just because they wish to kick someones head in.
    Do not be deluded to think that it doesn;t happen and hasn;t happened over the years, it has.
    .
    As for the article, the allure for European football is the different countries, their cultures and the fans.
    I had never looked into the capacity of the stadium, it always seemed so large, i would have thought it was 45000+
    I was in Turkey was Euro 2000, the place was crazy, never have i experienced such a happy and passionate atmosphere as when then qualified through their group.
    It is good for European football that the team shall be able to gain larger income and again be a team to compete. They are arguably the flagship team in Turkey who all and sundry recognise.
    .
    I think that in this country we are too insular and disregard other countries and their teams with an air of disrespect.
    Good luck to Galatasary

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 10:58am on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    181. At 10:49am on 21 Jan 2011, redandburied wrote:
    Deary me.
    What is it with the last few eh?
    A couple of Leeds fans got murdered a few years ago. A very tragic event in which the offender was sent down for (should have been longer though). That does not mean that all Galatasary fans/the Club should be hated and scorned so much. That is a different debate on football violence, which Leeds, Cardiff, West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Rangers and Celtic (to name a few with well reported incidents against their fine names) and most of the 92 professional clubs in England have pockets of scum that should not be anywhere near a member of the public and a pint due to their inability the be rational and not kick off just because they wish to kick someones head in.
    Do not be deluded to think that it doesn;t happen and hasn;t happened over the years, it has.
    .
    As for the article, the allure for European football is the different countries, their cultures and the fans.
    I had never looked into the capacity of the stadium, it always seemed so large, i would have thought it was 45000+
    I was in Turkey was Euro 2000, the place was crazy, never have i experienced such a happy and passionate atmosphere as when then qualified through their group.
    It is good for European football that the team shall be able to gain larger income and again be a team to compete. They are arguably the flagship team in Turkey who all and sundry recognise.
    .
    I think that in this country we are too insular and disregard other countries and their teams with an air of disrespect.
    Good luck to Galatasary
    ---------------------------------------------
    Best post on the blog. Especially the last 3 lines.

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 11:15am on 21 Jan 2011, DommoAVFC wrote:

    I was at Villa Park when we played LUFC 3 days after the events in Istanbul in 2000 - one of the most emotional days I've experienced in football. English football fans united in grief.

    Interesting you mention Highbury and Maine Road - I doubt the Turkish state broadcaster dedicated one of their internet columns to their closing...

    RIP Leeds lads

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 12:04pm on 21 Jan 2011, Türk wrote:

    The guy who killed the Leeds fans is in prison. Why are you guys moaning about injustice? Should the murders have been brought up in this article? Probably yes seeing as this is from a British point of view, but we should extend the same rule of mentioning Heysel and Hillsbrough whenever Anfield and Liverpool's ancient history is boringly talked about in these blogs.

    You don't understand how irritating it is to see my country or people get criticised whenever there is a discussion article on English websites. In this article it's about Leeds fan or whether we qualify in UEFA, in others it's Armenians, Kurds or the threat of Islam. I guess I should just suck it up because again this is from a British point of view, but I can't help but think these people don't see us Turks as humans, but as murderers and as religious nuts.

    Now onto the point about whether Turkey is European or should be in UEFA?

    Racially speaking? Yes. Turks look much more like peoples we border to the West, than those we border in the South-East. We Turks are a White people for the most part, with the same variety of eye and hair colour that is present in Europe, and the same variety of skin colour as present in Southern Europe. If we're seen as non-white then Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece's racial categorisations will have to be re-evaluated.

    Geographically? Yes. 10% of our land is in Europe and around a 1/4 of the population. We're allowed to choose UEFA or AFC, and we choose UEFA to ensure we play quality opposition and so we can travel more easily. Linking back to the racial point many, many Turks are descendants of Balkan Turks or other Balkan peoples who decided to move to Turkey once the empire crumbled. Our founder Atatürk, the most Turkish of all Turks, as a blonde haired blue eyed Balkan Turk.

    Culturally? Each European country has it's own culture. To say there is a grand European culture is silly. Unless we mean stuff such as, do Turks drink? Yes. Do Turks date before marriage? Yes. Do Turkish girls were sexy clothes and bikinis at the beach? Yes. Are Turks unreligious? Yes. In fact I'd say there are more religious Muslims in Britain than in Turkey. The hysteria about Turkey becoming more religious is overblown. It's more akin to Christianity's position in America, than it is to Turkey becoming like Iran.

    So after actually defining what that vague question means, are Turks culturally European in a sense of their Secularity? Yes.

    The hate makes no sense really. We look like you guys and we enjoy the same leisures as you guys. Religion seems to be the wedge huh? But again we're just as unreligious as you guys, ok maybe not as much, but certainly more like you guys than our Muslim neighbours. For the record I'm an Atheist just like I believe our founder Atatürk was.

    Is it a misconception maybe? You guys think we're brown skinned and religious fanatic people? I can't help but think this is probably the cause of most Turcophobia.

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 12:23pm on 21 Jan 2011, TheghostofBilly wrote:

    I think people are confusing many things.

    There are Leeds fans who will now have a blind hatred of Turks because of what happened. That's deeply unfortunate but not necessarily surprising.

    Many Leeds fans do not. The majority, I would say. Many Leeds fans, like me, have an issue with what seems to be the vast majority of Galatasary fans and them alone. I would never pre-judge someone because of who they support but I have to be honest, I have come across very few Galatasary fans since the murders who were genuinely remorseful about what had happened.

    If Leeds fans killed two Manchester United fans, I would feel the need to be humble and remorseful every time I bumped into one. I just wouldn't be able to help that feeling and a sense of collective guilt by association.

    If more Galatasary fans were willing to come out and accept that the full responsibility for the deaths lie with the "fans" who did it and did not repeatedly and en masse, try to attribute some of the blame on to Leeds fans, then perhaps feelings toward the club and it's fans would begin to suffer. This behaviour sullies the names of the men who died and pours unnecessary fuel on the fire.

    It certainly isn't a Turkish, colour or creed issue for most of us, I assure you of that.

    For anyone who still wants to believe that Leeds fans rioted in Turkey to cause the reaction, just Google "Leeds riot Istanbul". Not a picture, not a still from a camera, not a CCTV video or still, not even any pictures of the "aftermath" that never was. No pictures of a "trashed McDonalds". Nothing.

    Does that not strike you as odd?

    Pictures of bleeding Leeds fans are there but not one of any suggestions of a riot having taken place.

    It's high time this myth - propagated only by Galatasaray fans - was finally exploded.

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 12:51pm on 21 Jan 2011, PlatinumPlatypus wrote:

    Glorifying a country where two English football fans can be murdered and justice swept under the carpet without so much as a mention as to the incident.

    Nice work, BBC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 12:54pm on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    185. At 12:23pm on 21 Jan 2011, TheghostofBilly wrote:
    I think people are confusing many things.

    There are Leeds fans who will now have a blind hatred of Turks because of what happened. That's deeply unfortunate but not necessarily surprising.

    Many Leeds fans do not. The majority, I would say. Many Leeds fans, like me, have an issue with what seems to be the vast majority of Galatasary fans and them alone. I would never pre-judge someone because of who they support but I have to be honest, I have come across very few Galatasary fans since the murders who were genuinely remorseful about what had happened.

    If Leeds fans killed two Manchester United fans, I would feel the need to be humble and remorseful every time I bumped into one. I just wouldn't be able to help that feeling and a sense of collective guilt by association.

    If more Galatasary fans were willing to come out and accept that the full responsibility for the deaths lie with the "fans" who did it and did not repeatedly and en masse, try to attribute some of the blame on to Leeds fans, then perhaps feelings toward the club and it's fans would begin to suffer. This behaviour sullies the names of the men who died and pours unnecessary fuel on the fire.

    It certainly isn't a Turkish, colour or creed issue for most of us, I assure you of that.

    For anyone who still wants to believe that Leeds fans rioted in Turkey to cause the reaction, just Google "Leeds riot Istanbul". Not a picture, not a still from a camera, not a CCTV video or still, not even any pictures of the "aftermath" that never was. No pictures of a "trashed McDonalds". Nothing.

    Does that not strike you as odd?

    Pictures of bleeding Leeds fans are there but not one of any suggestions of a riot having taken place.

    It's high time this myth - propagated only by Galatasaray fans - was finally exploded.
    ----------------------------------------
    I suspect that if a tally was taken of damage and deaths caused by English hooligans compared to damage and deaths caused to English hooligans, you will see that as an English fan you should be very humble indeed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 12:56pm on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    186. At 12:51pm on 21 Jan 2011, CompactDistance wrote:
    Glorifying a country where two English football fans can be murdered and justice swept under the carpet without so much as a mention as to the incident.

    Nice work, BBC.
    ------------------------------

    The murderer was sent to prison. How many English hooligans who have routinely left a black mark on World Cups, European Cups etc have been properly dealt with by the English authorities? Bricks and Greenhouses again!

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 1:15pm on 21 Jan 2011, Wilson wrote:

    Its a disgrace that this article doesn't mention Chris and Kevin.
    I know Galatasaray have a great history but for us Leeds fans they will always be tainted with those horrific events.
    RIP Chris and Kev we will return to the premiership for you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 1:25pm on 21 Jan 2011, PlatinumPlatypus wrote:

    JamTay1, they were rearrested in November 2010. Ten and a half years after the tragedy. It is only because some people have not forgotten, unlike the BBC.

    I have never participated in violence so bricks in glass houses is irrelevant.

    Galatasaray fans never stop with 'the Leeds fans did this, did that' all statements of more than questionable truth. Like anything could justify murder anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 1:46pm on 21 Jan 2011, Woodley Blue wrote:

    IsoGS, please do not go on about Galatasaray being undefeated when winning the UEFA cup in 2000, as the other teams you mention in post 76, were in it from the start. You fell out of the Champions league as a third place team and if i remember correctly, which i do as I was at both games, we beat you 5-0 in Istanbal and 1-0 at The Bridge. This does not equate to being undeafeated as you missed the first 3 rounds anyway. Dropping out of the CL equates for one ia a massive loss anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 1:54pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 193. At 1:57pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    191 WE WON THE UEFA CUP UN DEFEATED... ALL THOSE TEAMS WERE ELIMINATED FROM CL EXCEPT BOLOGNA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 1:58pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    191 TELL IT TO UEFA AS THEY ACCEPT US AS AN UNDEFEATED CHAMPION

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 1:59pm on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    190. At 1:25pm on 21 Jan 2011, CompactDistance wrote:
    JamTay1, they were rearrested in November 2010. Ten and a half years after the tragedy. It is only because some people have not forgotten, unlike the BBC.

    I have never participated in violence so bricks in glass houses is irrelevant.

    Galatasaray fans never stop with 'the Leeds fans did this, did that' all statements of more than questionable truth. Like anything could justify murder anyway.

    Complain about this comment
    ----------------------------------------
    The important point is that they were brought to justice.

    The vast majority of Galatasaray fans have not participated in violence, yet you group them together as a whole and tarnish them all with the same brush. Do you not see the Hypocrisy?

    Perhaps you should take the Galatasaray fans opinions more seriously, seeing as they were there! Perhaps the Galatasaray fans are a bit upset at been slandered by fans from a nation who have historically been the most visible and worse Perpetrators of hooliganism?

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 2:02pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    ALSO AN EVERTONIAN FRIEND OF MINE TOLD ME A CHANT WHICH IS SANG IN AGAINST LEEDS GAMES "BEWARE FROM TURKS WITH KNIVES" OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT , SO I BELIEVE YOUR RIVALS DONT MIND WHAT HAPPENED HERE AS MUCH AS WE DO.

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 2:27pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 198. At 2:34pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Turkish football is just the tip of the ice berg into how far behind Eastern European football is in the dark ages. How many times have we all watched France or England play somewhere like Russia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Romania et al and heard monkey noises. Take for example the Italy game that was abandoned because of Eastern European football fans. They are nothing but thugs and maybe when it comes to European football competiton they can compete but only behind closed doors until they learn to acknowledge that this is the 21st century

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 2:41pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    i DO NOT DEAL WITH LITTLE CHILDREN

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 2:44pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 201. At 2:45pm on 21 Jan 2011, Gala_fan wrote:

    TyrantVer7,

    Why the blind hatred against Gala? I've read all the comments and no one said anything about Gala being a more succesful football club than ManU and yet you started by comparing Galatasaray's and ManU's results in European Cups. No one in their right mind would claim that Galatasaray has had a more succesful history in Europe than ManU but that doesn't mean that they don't belong in European Cups, or that it doesn't have a history as glorious as ManU (for us Gala fans at least). At one point Gala was one of the two teams who participated in CL the most along with Porto. We might have been struggling in the recent years but trust me when I say we will come back.

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 2:46pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    178 apologies I lost my glasses in the opening game so I saw it as 1st but it says 11th

    "The crime rate in Leeds is well above the national average, like many other English major cities.[61][62] In July 2006, the think tank Reform calculated rates of crime for different offences and has related this to populations of major urban areas (defined as towns over 100,000 population). Leeds was 11th in this rating "

    BUT

    For anyone who still wants to believe that Leeds fans rioted in Turkey to cause the reaction, just Google "Leeds riot Istanbul". Not a picture, not a still from a camera, not a CCTV video or still, not even any pictures of the "aftermath" that never was. No pictures of a "trashed McDonalds". Nothing.

    IN TURKEY TODAY THERE ARE ONLY 6.454 CCTV CAMERAS AND COUNTING BY NEXT YEAR THERE WILL BE 10.000 , THIS IS WHOLE OF TURKEY. AND WE ARE IN 2011 NOT 2000.

    HOW MANY ENGLISH CLUBS PLAYED IN ISTANBUL BEFORE AND AFTER THAT INCIDENT?? I AM NOT TRYING TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING BUT ON THAT DAY THOSE 17 INHUMAN MURDERERS PLOTTED AND MURDERED KEVIN AND CHRIS THIS WAS ONLY ONE OF THING DID YOU EVER HEARD OF SUCH EVENTS EVER BEFORE OR AFTER? I BET I CAN FIND AT LEAST 10 OR MORE KNIFE CRIMES RELATED TO FOOTBALL IN UK!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 2:51pm on 21 Jan 2011, redandburied wrote:

    #196 - a lot of fans sing things that wind up opposition fans as it hurts them. Utd fans are well know to chant at Liverpool fans about Hillsborough, Liverpool fans have retorted by chanting about the Munich air crash. (been there, heard it, despise it, LFC fan)
    It does not mean that they believe in what they are saying, but the effect the words themselves have.
    .
    #190 - they were brought to justice in the end, thankfully. Sadly the BBC are not culpable for the legal proceedures in a foreign land and whether or not they release people on 2or 3 occasions after convicting them (in 3 cases they were let off and then sent down for 3 or 4 years) also they were released in 1 case to do National service.
    .
    #189 - if the blog was about English/Turkish matches or football hooliganism, then it deffo is a big mistake by omitting the story, but it wasn't. It was about the stadium being bulldozed.
    Should it have been mentioned, even as a mere footnote as it were, yes probably and maybe Phil has seen that. That does not make it a disgrace and any other such comments which have been attributed as such.

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 2:54pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    203 .... Good luck with King Kenny back in the hot seat. Maybe not this season but you will improve in the next one

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 2:56pm on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    198. At 2:34pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:
    Turkish football is just the tip of the ice berg into how far behind Eastern European football is in the dark ages. How many times have we all watched France or England play somewhere like Russia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Romania et al and heard monkey noises. Take for example the Italy game that was abandoned because of Eastern European football fans. They are nothing but thugs and maybe when it comes to European football competiton they can compete but only behind closed doors until they learn to acknowledge that this is the 21st century
    -----------------------------------
    English fans sing songs about various wars throughout most internationals. English fans boo other nations anthems the vast majority of the time. Eastern European football has nothing to learn from ignorant hypocrits.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 3:00pm on 21 Jan 2011, redandburied wrote:

    #205 - in Italy, the country where they harass black players. Balotelli, whilst being a bit arrogant and mouthy. Does not deserve to be chanted at (along the lines of "theres no such such as a black italian" - that is racism. Don't think too much was done about it.
    * Phil * - how about a blog next week on the subject of racism/hoolganism in the modern game?

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 3:01pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    DEAR MODERATOR IF YOU CAN HIGHLIGHT THE BIT U THINK IT IS OFFENSIVE I WILL CHANGE IT. I JUST WROTE SOME FACTS.

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 3:02pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Because you all decide to sit in the dark and blame the west for your issues

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 3:08pm on 21 Jan 2011, Gala_fan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 210. At 3:10pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    IS 7 YOUR IQ? NO ONE BLAMES THE WEST, I LIVED IN THE WEST FOR 5 YEARS IN LONDON FOR A FACT WHICH I HAPPEN TO LOVE. YOU WILL START SEEING TINGS DIFFERENTLY WHEN U GROW UP. MAYBE YOU SHOULD COME TO TURKEY FOR A NICE HOLIDAY AS IT IS THE BEST DESTINATION FOR SUN AND THE SEA , ALSO WE ARE ONLY SECOND TO SPAIN AS THE BIGGEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION FOR BRITS.

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 3:34pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Why would I wish to spend my money in some corrupt hell hole. Remember the film Midnight Express?? London was a beautiful city, now its a ghetto.

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 3:35pm on 21 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    YOU PROBABLY CANT AFFORD IT AS U R ON BENEFITS

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 3:43pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    I dont think so. I work and pay my taxes which the stupid british goverment give to turkey to help their 'redevelopment'. Turkey will never be admitted to the EU for being so backwards and corrupt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 3:57pm on 21 Jan 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 215. At 4:03pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 216. At 4:06pm on 21 Jan 2011, FH wrote:


    " The fact Kazakhstan, Aremina & Azerbijan are in UEFA is more shocking in terms of geography ... "

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

    I am sorry but I am shocked to see Israel also. Turkey might have 10% of their land inside Europe but Israel doesn't even have 0.1% of it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 4:09pm on 21 Jan 2011, FH wrote:

    just to add 1 more thing in my comments above.

    Israel have more than 90% of their citizens came from WEST. the remaining 10% are Arabs inhabitants but yet they are in UEFA. what a prank!

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 4:19pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Maybe if the Arab nations didnt have an issue with Israel then they could play within that confederation

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 4:53pm on 21 Jan 2011, Türk wrote:

    "I dont think so. I work and pay my taxes which the stupid british goverment give to turkey to help their 'redevelopment'. Turkey will never be admitted to the EU for being so backwards and corrupt."

    What redevelopment? We're one of the few countries you guys didn't manage to rule over (Galipolli ring any bells?), so we don't need to be redeveloped and aren't recieving any such money from the British government. Our country is developing on its own and without oil money to rely on like the Arabs.

    We don't want to be in the EU anyway. The biggest myth ever is that Turks are desperate to get into the EU just to get some development money or to get away from this so called "backwards" country. But we're doing fine without it, to further emphasise my point in the paragraph above. We don't care, in fact most Turks are against the government's pro EU stance. lol and funny you call us backwards. Already forgotten about the perks scandal? And what about the Iraq War/Afghan War you guys are embroiled in. Very forward indeed lol.

    "As long as Turkey never joins the EU, we can all sleep safe in our beds.

    PS

    Maybe you should consider apoligising to Armenia and the Kurds"

    Not just you guys, but us Turks as well. I wouldn't want our affairs to be dictated by Brussels.

    PS

    Maybe you should consider apologising to the Commonwealth.

    Regarding Israel, they have no land in Europe, but their population obviously has history there, so I don't see the problem with them in UEFA either, not to mention the problem with the Arabs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 5:41pm on 21 Jan 2011, TurkzZ wrote:

    you can even see Leeds fans behaviour on the Danny Dyer football rivalry show in Istanbul, yes what happened was terrible, but its been dealt with and there in prison, Leeds fans have a bad rep in England let alone abroad.

    And for those arguing about Turkey being in Europe, just get used to it as it aint changing :D lol

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 5:52pm on 21 Jan 2011, MA20 wrote:

    i have sat here for the past hour reading all the post that ppl have posted, and it baffle's me from the topic in which phil covers to those ppl argueing about something irreluvant! but how ever there are 3 post that made me want to create an account just so that i can put my views across to those 3 post, they were from

    @ 107 qualityreadin: point about why wasnt there more done about that fact that ppl had lost their lives (in other words y wasnt gala punished) the reason y uefa cant punish gala is due to the fact that the incident happen a day before the game miles away from the stadium plus what had unfortunately happen to those two leeds supporter was not caused by gala supporters it was done by the general public for all we no it could of been fenerbahce or besiktas supporters never the less what happpen should of not happened!!!

    @ 187 jamtay1 comments about the gala supporters should just admit its their faults and that there is no evindence that leeds supporters didnt do any thing to get this reaction i could show u many pic of leeds supporter rubbing the turkish flag and money up their a*se whilst drunken leeds supporter abusin the turkish women pass byers liftin up their skirts to get a glimpse this kinda of attitude maybe accepted in england but its not so for the rest of europe!

    @ 189 wilson comment about the two leeds supporters not getting mentioned. as a gala supporter im upset of those who have lost their lives and their family that has to live with the aftermarth... but this whole subject is about a football stadium not about hooligans nor is it about weather turkey should be in europe or not the fact the isreal and kas are in it then turkey have every rite!

    if ppl want to talk about justice then can ppl explain somethin to me why is that juventus rejected to come to turkey due to politicol reason and cos uefa said that we cant granrentee the safety of the juventus spporters and uefa decided for the game to be played in a matural ground (germany) but yet when the leeds offical couldnt granrentee the safety of our supporters we still had to play in leeds?????? and stayin on the subject of leeds if im not mistaken that same year the leeds supporters were branded the most dangerous hooligans in the country and they had a simular incidents at AS Roma game a few years after the incident in turkey! so i really feel that the leeds suporter need to get some facts rite b4 tottaly accusing gala for what had happened!! manchester utd, chelsea and liverpool suppoters all travelled to turkey and not one problem accured dispite chelsea thumpings us 5-0 so u have to ask your selfs why did it happen when the leeds supporter were there?????

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 6:31pm on 21 Jan 2011, Kiran wrote:

    A superb article - well done the BBC for reporting in such detail on Galatasary's infamous ground. Shame that as always we get the closet racists posting comments whenever anything Turkish is written about. The SwissColony person should also ban Russia from UEFA (being only 23% in Europe).

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 6:52pm on 21 Jan 2011, TurkzZ wrote:

    MA20 spot on

    and yes well done Phil Minshull,

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 8:27pm on 21 Jan 2011, mmemch wrote:

    once again let me make myself clear. murder is murder and there is absolutely no excuse. those who committed the crime should be punished accordingly.
    i do not agree with galatasaray getting banned however, because this incident did not happen on galatasaray grounds or around it. it happened in taksim, a public area.
    i also do not think galatasaray fans should show any remorse about the issue, why should i show remorse, i did not take part in the crime and certainly did not kill those people. i dont feel happy that those people got killed, I am sorry for them just like any sensible person would be. but this has nothing to do with me, Galatasaray stadium or the Galatasaray team. It was a crime committed on a street. What does it have anything to do with Turkey being part of UEFA or Galatasaray playing in it? Can you honestly tell me that no one in britain was killed because of hooliganism or a bar brawl? Does this happen only in Turkey? you can tell me that two opposing groups in England never fought and someone got injured or killed?
    The fact is no opposing player or fan has ever been hurt in Galatasary stadium or even outside it during a UEFA or international game.
    If you think Turkey has security issues that is another thing. I personally believe that I live in a very secure city and country. I feel much safer walking the streets of Istanbul than streets of many european cities.
    There has been a thousand games and events in Turkey and Istanbul. FIBA basketball championship was recently held here, UEFA and Champions League finals were held here. We have opposing fans coming here for games for all games held in UEFA and Champions League. Can you show me one other incident where a fan was injured. NONE, 0. I think we have a very good security record, much better than many other countries in Europe.
    So please, stop blaming an honorable team with a long time history about things that it had nothing to do with.
    Some crazy guy killed two people, it happened in Turkey before a Leeds game. End of story. RIP to those two people, and I hope the guy who committed the crime first rots in jail and than burns in hell. I would not blame the whole city of Leeds, country of UK and whoever else I can find I a Galatasaray fan got killed in England before a game. I would blame the bastard who killed him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 9:20pm on 21 Jan 2011, playmaker10 wrote:

    Hi everyone, I write this message as a Turk and Galatasaray fan.

    I want everyone to know how deeply sorry I feel about the deaths of the Leeds fans. Sorry. I think that anyone who thinks carrying weapons that can cause deaths or any sort of damage is NOT HUMAN. Also I think that a nation should not be judged on mistakes which a few brainless people make. I say these in relation to not only this topic but in general. Otherwise how could we live with hatred growing all the time?

    I think in general the comments have been positive about Turkey and turkish football. so thanks for this.

    I didnt read all the comments. I think it was going all good and then a turkish guy unfortunately attracted unnecessary attention. Using bad language. That person had a chance to show the minority people reading these comments that have a bad opinion about Turkey how understanding and sorry turkish people can be, but he messed up! I feel angered by this and fully understand if others also get angered.

    I'd like to say sorry to anyone who has experienced unthoughtful and unreasonable conversations with anyone who defends such a sensitive subject.

    When it comes to the new stadium, I hope our new location will motivate the players to start winning some games! Galatasaray are a bit like Liverpool at the moment, no confidence incorrect signings, change of managers etc. I'm also a Liverpool fan. Says alot about my luck!:)

    Take care people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 11:06pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    The problem with all the Galatasary fans is that no matter how much you think you deserve to be in the ECL, you have only won your league 3 times in the past 10 seasons, compared to Manchester Uniteds 5 in the last 10. If you want to claim to be the best then actually win the amount that makes you the best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 11:47pm on 21 Jan 2011, rubes_dad wrote:

    mmech @post 224.
    Absolutely correct. People shouldn't judge a country by the actions of a few people. However, AFTER this has happened, the fact the Leeds team had to come on the pitch under shields, and the Turkish supporter's were still making the sliting throat gestures make them below contempt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 04:33am on 22 Jan 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    15. At 12:20pm on 20 Jan 2011, Oz Dave in London wrote:

    The fact Kazakhstan, Aremina & Azerbijan are in UEFA is more shocking in terms of geography
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why is it shocking ?

    Half of Azerbaijan is in Europe, and Kazakhstan has a higher percentage of land geographically in Europe than Turkey does ( only 4% of its land in Europe ).

    The fact of the matter is that the transcontinental countries of Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Kazakhstan all have the choice of being part of UEFA or AFC, and that seems perfectly fair to me.

    Israel, Cyprus and Armenia are the only three members of UEFA that aren't geographically in Europe.

    In Israel's case, it's obviously for political reasons ( imagine a World Cup qualifier in Tehran ! ), and Cyprus and Armenia are let in to UEFA - despite being geographically in Asia - because they are culturally considered to be European.

    Australia being in the AFC is a little bit of a grey area, as the region of Oceania doesn't have definable borders, unlike Europe, Africa, Asia or the Americas.

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 04:39am on 22 Jan 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    I forgot to add Georgia as well, which is half in Europe and half in Asia.

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 05:15am on 22 Jan 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    78. At 4:48pm on 20 Jan 2011, Yasin wrote:
    if israel is in the middle east, it should be participating with the other arab countries.even though it is hostile for them there, doesnt mean they should just be allowed into uefa and allowed to take part in Euro Championships.otherwise i suppose north korea should be allowed into uefa seeing as most surrounding countries are hostile to it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I don't want to delve into politics here, so I shall attempt to state the facts of the matter...

    There are many countries in Asia that do not allow Israeli citizens to enter their country.

    Every single World Cup qualifying campaign or AFC club competition that an Israeli side played in would lead to a number of serious diplomatic incidents.

    Bearing that in mind, I think that it's acceptable for Israel to compete in UEFA competitions for reasons of political expediency.


    During the last World Cup, South Korea had to play North Korea during qualification, and although tensions were understandably high, I believe the matches passed off without serious incident.

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 05:23am on 22 Jan 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    People need to realise that continents, such as Europe and Asia, are defined along geographical lines and not political lines.

    Consequently, somewhere either is or isn't in Europe. There is no subjective interpretation to this, as simply looking at an atlas will tell you definitively what continent or continents a country resides in.

    UEFA member countries that are both geographically in Europe and Asia:

    Russia
    Kazakhstan
    Turkey
    Azerbaijan
    Georgia

    UEFA member countries that are only geographically in Asia:

    Israel
    Armenia
    Cyprus


    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 05:36am on 22 Jan 2011, Peter wrote:

    I have read every singly comment on this thread and there are a number of things which I want to comment on.

    As a Brit, it's embarrassing to read some of the comments on here. We have this ingrained xenophobia where we group people from the same country, or same religion, as one. The most glaring example is one I will not mention on here as it may be moderated but I'm sure you can work it out. For anyone to suggest that the 99.9% (I'm sure it's even higher) of innocent Galatasaray fans should in some way be taking responsibility for the murders of the Leeds fans is obscene. The most they can possibly do is offer sympathy, which it seems quite clear they have done. The murders in Istanbul were tragic and absolutely shocking and unfortunately Kevin and Chris cannot be brought back. We have to remember that in every country there are bad people, who they support is irrelevant. Hooligans tend to use football as an excuse to fight - should the rest of the fans associate themselves or be associated with the hooligans just because they support the same club? Absolutely not and we as fans should refrain from branding them as one. Should Galatasaray have been punished further? I have to say that must be highly debatable. The murders didn't occur at the stadium and Galatasaray cannot control their fans in the city centre on a non-matchday. The Turkish authorities should have dealt with the situation better but this is a non-football issue and certainly nothing to do with innocent Galatasaray fans. As for the way some Brits act abroad, it's completely embarrassing and disgraceful. I'm not saying Leeds fans did misbehave in Istanbul, but for anyone claiming there is no evidence and it is all being made up, history does tell a story.

    Back to the article. Phil Munshell has every right to write about Galatasaray. He is the BBC's European football correspondent and Galatasaray are a very big European club. Their stadium is also renowned all over Europe and therefore its closure should be covered. The people that question what they have won need to take a reality check. The vast majority of the European club competitions are won by clubs from Spain, Italy, England and possibly Germany. There is then the occasional winner from Portugal, France and now Russia. In reality, given the vast finances in the Premier League, we should provide more winners. Turkish clubs do not too badly, they can certainly beat anyone at home on their day. Turkish clubs definitely add to the Champions League. As a viewer, I'd rather watch a Premier League team away in Turkey than I would, say, in Denmark. It usually guarantees a great atmosphere with the chance of an upset.

    Fans of the Premier League also have this sense that the UEFA cup is a non-event. Why? For the last 8-10 years, our top clubs have performed strongly in the Champions League and have matched, if not bettered, most of Europe's best. However, we have greatly underperformed. in the UEFA cup and therefore the media and fans have tended to treat it with disregard. There were the runs of Fulham and Middlesborough, but the teams who are traditionally below our Champions League qualifiers, Everton, Villa, Spurs etc have failed (I'm a Villa fan). The equivalent teams in Spain and Germany have not and have won the cup regularly. I do feel UEFA devalued the cup by allowing those exiting the Champions League to enter it but for Premier League fans to refer to it as a nothing cup is ignorant. Everyone seemed to get involved in it when Fulham had such a good run.

    The debate about the geographical location is interesting. I did not know that Turkey had been in UEFA since the 50s, but given that fact, calls for them to be removed are a bit late. The fact that some of its land mass is in Europe should surely permit it to play in European competitions. Like I said, the country adds to the competition. For teams to have to travel to such diverse places such Zenit St Petersburg with Arctic conditions and then the cauldron at Galatasaray, must add interest to the competition. I would also imagine that if Turkish teams had to travel to Japan, it might be a costly exercise. I do, however, find Kazachstan's inclusion rather bizarre. For those completely against Turkey being in a member of UEFA for geographical reasons, surely you must be in favour of a Great Britain team? There could be many similarities in that argument.

    On a final note, the images of the Ali Sami Yen Stadium must be some of the most lasting over the past 20 years of Champions League football. They may not have come close to winning it but they've given a few teams a shock and made it a very intimidating stadium to visit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 3:46pm on 22 Jan 2011, halfwheeler wrote:

    As a candidate country to the Eu and active participants in European life and debate, Turkey has much more right to play European football than Switzerland who purposely keep the rest of Europe at arms length.

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 4:36pm on 22 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    @ 233

    Turkey historically and geographically have always had about as much right to be in Europe as Australia has to be in the AFC. UEFA and the AFC needs splitting into maybe 3 conferdations because there is an urgent need to accomadate nations that have been born and ended within the past 50 years.

    Its in the case of Turkey that just 3% of it is in Europe that it clings on to dear life claiming they are European. It claims this just to suit its needs and it will never ever be admitted into the EU, its been crowing to the EU for the past 50 years. Dont you think if countries like Romania and Bulgaria make it into the EU which believe me makes Turkey look like paradise then Turkey would already be in by now???

    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 4:46pm on 22 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    @ 232

    The UEFA indeed has an amazing heritidge and unfortuantly UEFA have decided to devalue the cup from the moment they diluted the European Cup to allow runners up, then 3rd then 4th placed teams depending on where ever the nation was in the rankings. To allow a team who finished 4th in Italy to have a chance to take the place of maybe the champions of Iceland for arguements sake.

    When UEFA also decided this they also ended the European Cup Winners Cup which was an amazing competition. SS Lazio won the last one because there was no real opposition. I defintly think it devalues winning a league in say England, Spain, France or Germany because why bother winning when you can finish 4th and 10 points behind the Champions. I think the greatest ever European Champions were Cloughs Notthingham Forest because they did it the hard way twice.

    But its all down to money at the end of the day. Sponsers want AC Milan who finished 4th over a Lodz (Poland), B93 (Faroe Islands) or Dundalk (Eire). As a Manchester United fan, I know its sad but true but when we get to a European Cup stage even not by winning the league its a good feeling. I do however disagree with letting 3rd placed group stage teams into the UEFA Cup its like making the quarter finals of the League Cup but getting knocked out so they let you back into the FA Cup, once your out, your out and maybe the Group stages should be replaced with the good old tried and tested knock out rounds.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 5:27pm on 22 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    Maybe its time to split UEFA up and the AFC to allow for smaller confederations which would allow for more competetive football and allow countries that usually struggle to maybe have a better chance of competing. It would also allow for countries recently created especially after the fall of the USSR, Yugoslavia and also address countries seeking independence that if they were to would be able to slot within an confederation. Its done by geography and political stasis.

    UEFA


    England,Wales, Scotland,N Ireland, Republic

    Ireland, Portgual, Spain, Gibraltar, France,

    Andorra. Italy, San Marino, Germany,

    Switzerland, Austria, Litchenstein,

    Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Faroe Islands,

    Iceland, Norway, Czech Rep, Hungary, Slovakia,

    Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Poland,

    Bosnia and Hert, Albania, Kosovo, Malta,

    Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, Croatia,

    Macedonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania,

    Estonia, Belarus, Greece, Romania, Montenegro

    EurAsia

    Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Georgia,

    Azerbiajan, Armenia, Palestine (yes they are

    included), Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan,

    Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Saudi

    Arabia, Georgia, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan,

    Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Chechnya, Turkmenistan,

    Tajikistan, Future nations if granted

    independence ... Abkhizia, Ajaria, Dagestan,

    Imgushetia, Kalainigrad, Nagorno-Karabakh,

    North Ossetia, South Ossetia, Trans-Dniester

    Asia

    India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal,

    Afghanistan, Bangledesh, Bhutan, Brunei,

    Maldives, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Cook

    Islands, Fiji, Guam, Indonesia, Japan,

    Kiribati, North Korea, South Korea, Laos,

    Macau, Malaysia, Nauru, Philippines,

    Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam

    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 9:01pm on 22 Jan 2011, Türk wrote:

    @TyrantVer7

    We Turks don't think of ourselves as European. We're just Turks. Our continental identity is Central Asian. It's a self-indulged myth Europeans hold, that we're supposedly desperate for European acceptance. The truth is the vast majority, possibly all Turks couldn't care less.

    So continue your Turcophobia, it makes for a fine comedy. I'll just sit here and enjoy the fact we're in UEFA. And you can't do a thing about it! MUAHAHAHA!

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 10:23pm on 22 Jan 2011, Gala_fan wrote:

    226. At 11:06pm on 21 Jan 2011, TyrantVer7 wrote:

    The problem with all the Galatasary fans is that no matter how much you think you deserve to be in the ECL, you have only won your league 3 times in the past 10 seasons, compared to Manchester Uniteds 5 in the last 10. If you want to claim to be the best then actually win the amount that makes you the best.

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

    Another baseless argument. Who claims that Galatasaray is better than ManU or that they're "the best"???. We are the best in Turkey but that's all. I wasn't gonna say anything but seriously do you lack simple logic? Or is your hatred for Turks making you say the most irrelevant things just to spite us?

    On another note, thank you Peter (#232), your comment was a delight to read.

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 10:40pm on 22 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2010/09/14/revealed-where-football-passion-peaks-barcelona-galatasaray-red-star-algeria-colo-colo-140904/

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 10:41pm on 22 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    According to new research by sportingintelligence, the five football teams with the biggest share of their populations behind them are Barcelona (Spain), Galatasaray (Turkey), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), the Algerian national team (Algeria), and Colo-Colo (Chile). See table below for full details.
    This latest analysis, based on Facebook ‘fans’ of teams – Facebook being, in effect, the world’s largest data pool of likes and dislikes, with 500m users – looks beyond sheer numbers of fans per team.
    We first looked at sports teams’ overall popularity on Facebook at the start of August. That research is linked here, and Galatasaray of Turkey came out on top. Note that this market is dynamic and huge changes can and do occur over short periods. Regularly updated figures on the world’s most popular sports teams on Facebook (and other social networks) can be found here at famecount.com, the social media statistics specialists (tallies updated daily).

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 10:42pm on 22 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    hahahahahahahahhahahahaa where is ur man utd

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 10:54pm on 22 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    By Alex Miller
    26 November 2010
    Ask anyone with even the most basic knowledge of football to name the clubs with the biggest and most valuable brands; chances are Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona will feature prominently in the answers.
    Quite right too, because those three teams are the three biggest brands in world football today. All of them are said to be worth in the region of one billion Euros. Other super brands include Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool from the Premier League. Italy’s Internazionale, Milan, and Juventus; Bayern Munich from Germany and Galatasaray from Turkey.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 11:00pm on 22 Jan 2011, isoGS wrote:

    The world’s most popular sports team? It’s not the Yankees, Barca, Real, Man Utd, Liverpool or the Lakers. It’s . . . Galatasaray

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 11:25pm on 23 Jan 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    For all of those who are complaining about Turkish sides competing in Europe - because some are geographically in Asia - do you feel the same way about African sides Nacional and Marítimo, who have both competed in the Europa League in the past two seasons ?

    Or how about another African side, CD Tenerife, who reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1996-97 ?

    Greek 2nd division side Diagoras is from Asia; should they be barred from entering the Europa League if they won the Greek Cup ?


    I'm not Turkish, but the fact of the matter is that most of these protestations about Turkey, or Turkish teams, competing in Europe is based upon prejudice and xenophobia.

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 6:11pm on 24 Jan 2011, Quitowhite PLC wrote:

    BBC and Minshull

    See what you've done?

    How dare you foster then fail to control such ill-informed discussion relating to the death of two British citizens?

    You should be ashamed

    RIP Kevin and Chris

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 8:11pm on 30 Jan 2011, Castle wrote:

    You can guarantee that all 'the Turks shouldn't play in UEFA' comments from Swisscolony, Tyrantver and the like are from Greek, Greek Cypriot families or are German.

    Just a fact of life that people from these countries have an anti Turkish agenda.

    Shame really.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.