Erdogan’s relationship with football is known, as is the way he tries to use it for political purposes. Shortly before the referendum that led to the strengthening of the sultan’s powers, he said: “I think soccer and politics share many common elements. As in sport, the essence of politics is competition, struggle. Like a team that plays without a shot, tactics or strategy has a zero chance of winning a title, so politicians and parties who have nothing to say to the world have no chance of success. As in football, there is no politics without passion, love and dedication. ” Former footballer and himself, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made sure to remind that since 2002, 1575 sports facilities have been built in the country, which without him would not be feasible.
The image of the Turkish president with the orange jersey to score a hat-trick in a stadium inauguration in 2014 had made the round of the world, reinforcing his football profile. Only the field was not of any team but the champion of this year’s Turkish championship, Basaksehir. A team that has almost emerged from nowhere, has built a stadium in record time and has alliances and sponsorships unmatched with its fan base. Amid the crisis of the big teams in the country, he found the opportunity to launch and flirt with the championship. A conversation with Patrick Kendy, an English writer of the passion: Football and the story of modern Turkey, led me to seek more information on this particular case of Turkish football.
Büyükçehir Belendizspar began to climb in the mid-1990s on the outskirts of Istanbul with another name. It was just a local team that belonged to the water company. Erdogan then was still a mayor, and in the suburb of Basaksehir he wanted to create a neighborhood ideal for his faithful. Keep away from the dirt and the cement of the center, with green spaces, quiet and fresh air, built on the traditions of Islam. “The most important reason to buy an apartment in Basaksehir is to feel that you belong to a place with a conservative identity and a community surrounded by religious values,” writes Celine Gurgun, in his dissertation on the neighborhood. The streets have names of great Islamic personalities, dogs are forbidden in the parks, and most women wear burqa.
Buhikucehir changed his page in 2006, when Gosel Gumusdag, his faithful Erdogan, who married his wife’s niece, assumed the post of president. He coached Abdullah Awtsi, who had gone from Galatas and the national ones. In the same season he climbed into the first category and in 2009/10 finished sixth, while in 2011 he reached the Cup final, losing to Besiktas in the penalty shoot-out. Representing only one neighborhood, the group played in front of a few dozen fans at the vast Olympic Stadium.
The nodal year 2014 also saw the transition that spurred economic growth. Unlike most Turkish groups, Basaksehir went into the hands of private individuals. It was bought for 2.5 million by a group of eight entrepreneurs who are linked to businesses that support the government. Their own presence and attitude is the one that ensures sponsors. The former sponsor of the shirt, Makro, supported Erdogan while the new Deko / Vita is a subsidiary. The “mummy” company has undertaken to pay the contract of Ardha Turan. Correspondingly much larger than the dynamics of the world is the percentage it gets from the TV rights.
Although it has caused interest in transcriptions like Adbeyor and Robinus, Basaksehir has invested heavily in the network of skiing and two years ago he did the same with his academies, offering children training alongside some areas of education. At the same time, a campaign with schools and neighborhoods began in order to acquire its own loyal audience. A characteristic of what the neighborhood and group advocates is that the name of the first fan of the group is 1453, the date of the Apostle of Constantinople. Among the directors is Minister of State Erdogan Mehmet Ersui, while Minister of Health Faretin Koca is the founder of a medical company that is one of the main donors.