POV

Rivalry of a Century

Ozgur Kiyat interviews two opposing fans in the Fenerbahçe Galatasaray rivalry .

Story and Photos by Ozgur Kiyat - ozgurkiyat@hotmail.com
Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

The Fenerbahçe Galatasaray rivalry is considered one of the greatest in the history athletics. These two famous Turkish sports clubs have a long-standing relationship: they have been competing against each other in every possible way since 1909. However, when it comes to football, the rivalry continues to grow.

Fenerbahçe was founded in 1907 by a group of local men. Since then, the football team had eighteen league titles and some success in the European Cups. Galatasaray was created in 1905, four years before these either team was legally ready to compete in the Turkish Football League. The first game they ever played was won by Galatasaray 2-0. There have been some unforgettable matches since then and Galataray has had huge success in the European cups as the time passed.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

I interviewed two fans, one from each team, asking them about their passion. The answers will give you an idea about how dedicated they are.

Genco Boran, sports writer for a newspaper, answers first:
Ozgur Kiyat: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says Fenerbahce or Galatasaray? Why?
Football and rivalry, because these two teams have a historical rivalry with one another in every branch of sports, especially in football.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

OK: Would you tell us about your worst moment as a Fenerbaçe/Galatasaray fan?
I have two bad memories. First one is when Fenerbahçe beat Galatasaray 6-0 in Kadıköy in 2002. The second one was another game in the 80’s.  Galatasaray was up 3-0 in the break, but Fenerbahçe made an incredible comeback and won the game 4-3.

OK: What does Fenerbahce-Galatsaray rivalry mean to you?
An illogical fight.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

OK: Which game would you like to relive?
The Turkish cup final. The game when we beat Fenerbahçe 5-1.

OK: How did it feel to unite with rival fans during İstanbul protests?
When human rights are concerned, colors do not matter.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Onur Ozvarol is an account manager who works for a bank as well as a huge Fenerbahçe fan:
OK: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says Fenerbahce or Galatasaray? Why?
A huge crowd in dark blue and yellow jerseys in the stadium… Not only men yelling, but also families, women and children all together, a peaceful environment. That is the reflection of a Fenerbahçe supporter in my mind. It is what I see when I go to the stadium.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

OK: Would you tell us about your worst moment as a Fenerbaçe/Galatasaray fan?
It was six or seven years ago… The last match of the league and we were ready to celebrate the championship. We could not beat Denizlispor and Galatasaray, who was second place in the standing, ended up with the Championship.

OK: What does Fenerbahce-Galatsaray rivalry mean to you?
It is the most exciting day of the season. No matter which one you support, you’ll have many friends on the other side. So it is not only a challenge, but a fun and a social event for us.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

OK: Which game would you like to relive?
As most of the Fenerbahçe supporters would say, I wish I could be at the stadium on the 6th of November 2002 when we scored six goals against Galatasaray.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

OK: How did it feel to unite with rival fans during İstanbul protests?
It actually represented what support and rivalry means to me. In football, we support different teams. However, out of the stadium, we are all the same. We were already united; at home, at the office or at school… The protests strengthened that connection among us all.

Hopefully the Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray rivalry will continue for many more years. The great thing about all sports is the ability to send people a message and hopefully it is always a good one, and a fair game.

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

Photo © Ozgur Kiyat

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