Monday, April 30, 2007

Why is everything negative

Murat over at AmerikanTurk does an extremely good job of postings that provoke discussion, although sometimes it seems he would prefer to just say, please no more!!!

One thing that happens is though is that the comments end up in a he said she said condition where people with entrenched positions be they Muslim/Christian, Turkish/Armenian/Greek end up shouting at each other, trading insults and not listening......and you wonder why he wants to quit!

For a change I thought I would devote a post not to the beautiful game (sic.) but to reasons why and where religion or similar has made a positive contribution.

Where shall we start.

I know how about philosophy. Well the Greeks, and I use that term loosely were the masters of this, many of the cities where the philosophers lived and published were in what is now modern day Turkey but so what it makes no difference to what they said or published.

Architecture. Where to start. Maybe the sun worshipping, incest tolerating Egyptians and the pyramids? Or how about Ayia Sofia in Istanbul consecrated in 576 and built by the Romans because they could and effectively the heart of the Orthodox church until the fall of Constantinople in 1453, whereafter it became a stable and then a mosque. More impressively it was the biggest domed structure in the world until St Peters was built in the 1800's. With the fall of Constantinople the Ottoman empire flowered as did patronage of the arts and the talents of Mimar Sinan came to the worlds attention. The mosque at Edirne being the supreme example. Prior to that and if you research the history of architecture you will see the shifting paterns of development. The Islamic arched window for example was transported back from the "Holy Land" by Crusaders. Military architecture reached a high point with the scientific design of the Krak des Cheavliers and siege warfare became an art that the Islamic armies had to master against their bedouin inspired inclinations which culminated in the breaching of the walls built more than 1000 years before 1453 and still standing today in Istanbul. Between 744 (I think) and 1453 no Muslim army troubled Istanbul, that is a longer period than from 1453 until now...think about that. Excellent book on the subject is "Constantinople, the Last Great Siege" by Crowley. Suffice it to say that religion has influenced most of architecture and given that for centuries the main patrons of architects were religious, government or both that is hardly surprising.

Medicine. For a long while Islamic doctors were streets ahead of western doctors in the diagnoses and treatment of illness, mainly as the catholic church considered prayer the best for of cure and discouraged learning and inquiry. Then for whatever reason scientific inquiry or debate became less tolerated in Islamic circles and western scientist in mainly protestant countries pushed the boundaries of medical science to where they are today with each benefitting from the other. Interestingly in warfare Islamic armies suffered less "camp fever" than western as they understood the link between hygiene and illness which was helped by the necessary ablutions. However it should be noted that most Ottoman armies had their fair share of non-Muslim mercenaries and conscripts who also benefited form the attention to hygiene.

I guess what prompted this post is that I just finished a remarkable book entitled "How the Scots Invented the Modern World" by Arthur Herman. despite being one of the poorest nations in Europe Scotland has produced more than its fair share of free thinkers, scientists, economists etc. whose contribution to what we see around us today should not be overlooked. Why did this happen. Well Scotland benefitted in the 17/1800's from a religious viewpoint that considered "bettering yourself" and education to be of greater import than slavish adherence to a set of rules and edicts issued from Rome. Sunday Schools flourished, illiteracy decreased, Universities were filled with enquiring minds freed from the threat of persecution by Priests who still considered it was heresy to claim the earth was a globe and not flat. Although religion was important in this case it freed the mind and assisted in the invention oif many of the items that have created the world we see around us today. Interestingly another set of non-conformists ,the Quakers, were busily developing the iron and steel industry in Ironbridge in England that would pave the way for the start of the Industrial Revolution that has culminated in me being able to post this blog. It is no coincidence that the countries not controlled by a repressive religion, Britain, with the USA and Germany caught in the wake were at the forefront of this development as challenging the status quo did not lead to ostracim and burning at the stake or equivalent.

My point is this. It is very easy to blame religion for all of the problems, strife, conflict and hatred we see in the World today. But stop and think of the benefits that the atmosphere created at different times and in different parts of the world has created that benefits people today. Turkish Muslims undertaking the haj would not be able to fly from Istanbul to Jeddah on an Airbus or Boeing for example, a nice example of the benefits the muslim world obtains from non muslim developed technology. Cataract removal was being undertaken by Islamic doctors in the 1400's and todays techniques owe alot to that. There are thousands of other examples that illustrate the cross pollination of ideas and practices, these are two I could think of easily as its getting late.

I say lets celebrate our differences, the world would be an incredibly boring place if everyone was the same, but not use those differences as an excuse to kill each other.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Titles and tantrums

I was having a look at the history of the SuperLig today and the statistics are as follows.

Founded in 1959 the league has been won by the following teams.

Galatasaray 16
F******** 16
Besiktas 10 (or 12 depending if you count 57 and 58).
Trabzon 6

Taking a look at the last 10 years shows that Galatasaray has won the Lig 6 times, F***3 and Besiktas once.

Given the amount of money and number of players that the Kadikoy mob have gone through that represents a serious under return on investment in my opinion.

Given that CimBom also picked up the UEFA cup and Super Cup in 2000 and topped the world club rankings in 2001 it is clear which is the best and most successful club side in Turkey and its not on the Asian side.

Whilst Galatsaray are unlikely to win this year, I have a feeling that Besiktas will as I think the other lot are beginning to crumble just like last season, no character you see just a bunch of mercenaries. Lets face when you are 2-0 up at home to Denizlispor you really should not end up with a draw if you want to be champions. Next up is Besiktas away and if BJK win then they go top and if the slide continues CimBom could slip into second, wouldn't that be sweet.

We now wait to see just what punishment TFF decide is appropriate for the scenes we saw after the Besiktas match. I'm guessing none as Aziz seems to think he is bigger than TFF.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who the F**** do they think they are

I was going to follow up my earlier post with a standard piece about the routine 3-0 victory for CimBom over Sakarya today. Two more goals from Umit, good season for him and one for Mehmet Guven. I really hate watching games when there is no crowd, but what can you do.

However I was absolutely appalled by what happened after the Besiktas Mafia match on Thursday and full marks to Ahmet for raising this issue because the Kadikoy mob have excelled themselves this time with proof that they really are the scrapings of a very foul barrel.

I am refering to the attack on Ricardinho first by a fan and then by Aurelio in the car park after the game. First of all how can a fan get that close to the players and secondly what was Aurelio doing???? And why was the fan seen walking with Aziz Yildirim later on, did he hire him. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered but one thing that must be clear is that some form opf punishment has to be delivered to Kadikoy, and I am not talking about fines and playing behind closed door I am talking about points. Will this club stop at nothing. I mean they spend all that money every year and still they struggle and have to resort to cheating and bad attitude.

But I expect TFF to do nothing and let the Kadikoy scum get away with this kind of lowlife behaviour.

Oh dear, oh dear.........

Is Ankara going to have a Super LIg Team next season....well maybe Ankaraspor....tee, hee

Rizespor 3-1 Ankargucu

Genc 1-2 Erciyes

Maybe Erciyes can escape the drop at Ankargucu's expense????

After todays matches the situation looks like this

9 Genc 39
10 Bursa 38
11 Antalya 37
12 Manisa 37
13 Ankargucu 36
14 Gaziantep 36
15 Rize 35
16 Denizil 34
17 Erciyes 32
18 Sakarya 21

That is seriously squeaky bum time at the bottom with none of those teams from 9 to 17 absolutely safe.

I am positive the Kankas will let us know.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The sublime and the ridiculous

Anyone who watched the Man Utd Milan match was treated to a superb display of what football should be about. Speed, excitement, dodgy defending, goals and edge of the seat nerve shredding moments. What a game and what a contracts to the usual fare served up in Turkey. Mind you watching Aston Villa against Watford is not quite as exciting either!!.

Man Utd seemed to revert to their treble winning style that is you score 3 we will score 4 which makes for excitement but does not do much for the blood pressure. In a way it was like watching a basketball match! It also seems that the long held myth that Italian clubs can defend has been vaporised with 11 goals scored in two matches against Italian teams.

The less said about the scousers and chelski the better. A nasty spiteful game crowned by misery guts moaning about the ref, the fact hi players got their hair wet etc. etc. what a miserable sod Mourinho is and the sooner Chelski sack him the better. His recent complaints about injuries and possible suspension are absolutely pathetic. He was missing Bollock injured and Essien (Drunk) suspended. Compare that to Utd who were missing Vidic, Ferdinand, Neville, Saha, Park.

As for the ridiculous I am referring to Galatsaray's loss in the CAS about Ribery. If what is said is true why did they think they had a chance to win, really what an embarrassment.

Somt5imes I wonder about the management at Galatasaray. All the money that has been spent, where did it go, why play at the Olympic stadium, sacking Lucescu, appointing Terim etc. etc. Oh well I guess its the way it is and there is not a lot I can do about it......

Until the weekend

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tea for two

This season is rapidly becoming one to forget. However Galatasaray still need to win todays match to cement third place and so a UEFA Cup position. With Besiktas and the others winning on Saturday and Friday the Championship is gone so third place is all we have to play for although if Besiktas make a mistake we could still sneak into second and the Chimps League.

Here in New Jersey it was a nice warm afternoon for watching football and after having watching Newcastle frustrate Chelski, to the Husband's relief it was time for a nice cup of tea. First of all Mondragon was not playing but Aykut is a reasonable replacement as he showed after about 15mins with a great save from Biryol. Does anyone else think that Altan and Umit look like brothers, although Altan has less hair!!!

There was also an Alien siting, thats right Fatih "Imperator" Terim was in the crowd, cannot be to check out players for the National Team, or was it nostalji.

Both teams set out like express trains and the crowd was in fine form. Lots of chances and poor defending and after 20 minutes it could have 1-1 but it was still 0-0.

And then somewhat against the run of play some poor defending at a corner allowed Rizespor to go ahead 1-0. After the 5 chances CimBom had created in the preceding 10 minutes that was hard to take.

Then in the 42nd minute after some excellent approach play Necati scored a very good goal to level things at 1-1, great pass by Inamoto to set up Necati who then got a yellow card for his celebration. More good pressure in the last 3 minutes of the first half almost brought a second goal but half time ended 1-1. Now for some tea......

Just sitting down with a cup of tea when Umit calmly slotted home from 4 yards after a mistake by the tea boy's defence and some quick think by Ayhan. And Inamoto should have scored almost straight away from the restart.

3-1 finally arrived in the 54th minute with a superb goal by Necati although the credit should go to Umit who controlled the ball superbly to then set up the cross for Necati.

On came Hakan for his comedy turn, and at the same time the game began to die a little bit, even with Sabri trying to win a non-existent penalty, and Cire flashing a shot just wide of the post, shot being cleared off the line.

So a 3-1 result, which helps for third place. Bit more exciting than the second city derby....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mirage or reality?????

Hello out there its the Husband here on behalf of Gulay who is busy with Zeynep.

Going into this weekend round of matches we find that the Kadikoy Mob are at the top oh the pile with 56 points followed by Besiktas with 52 and Galatasaray with 48. There are 6 matches or 18 point left. Most commentators including Ahmet over at Turkish Soccer seem to have conclude that the race is effectively over an the Championship is heading to Kadikoy.

I am not so sure given the way all three teams have been playing recently. WIth CimBom brushing aside Genc and both FB and Besiktas drawing against lowly placed teams the situation once again became interesting rather than foregone last weekend. Similar results this weekend and we could see FB collapse again like last season. Whilst it would take a minor miracle for Galatasaray to finsih top its not impossible but would require FB to lose 3 games and CimBom to win all remaining games.

CimBom's run in is:
Rizespor (h), Sakarya (a), Antalya (h), Sivas (a), FB (h) and Bursa (a)

which apart from Sivas and FB is against teams in the lower half of the League so should be good for 12 points although GS's recent form does not inspire total confidence. As for FB well their temperament must be questioned as they have had chance after chance top open that gap and failed just like last season. I guess that about now the players are beginning to let last season enter their thoughts.......

If course its not a two horse race and if anything Besiktas are in better position than Galatasaray and if any team is realistically going to push the Kadikoy mob its them.

I would estimate though that 12 points from the remaining six games will get CimBom into the UEFA Cup where i hope they can perform a bit better than this years embarrassments in the Chimps League. Note to GS management NEVER, play games at the Ataturk stadium again, no atmosphere, no character and a terrible place to watch soccer!!!!

Lets just hope that the quality of play in the last few matches improves so watching SuperLig does not feel like some new form of punishment.....

Friday, April 13, 2007

Canned Tuna

These days when I buy Tuna I buy the dolphin friendly, in water, tree huggers special. I use this to make a very refined dish known as HUMBLE PIE for the folks in Ankara who can only Promise such a fishy delight but never deliver the real Tuna......

As I accurately predicted yesterday Galatasaray trawled to a routine win over extremely limited opposition whose main threat seemed to be....nothing. In the interests of fairness and my previous post I will however state that Cem Deda's mum had obvioulsy let him stay up late, or had worked out how to programme the VHS in the house as he had obvioulsy taken on board the fine referee skills shown in the Tottenham and Milan games with regard to penalties. As for the rest of his performance it was fair........ fairly bad that is.

The match had an end of term feel about it with players hugging, shaking hands and none of the usual stupidness except the one occasion when Umit Karan was given help to replace his socks....Mehmet Nes and Cem Deda seen with their arms around each other....what were they doing I wonder, swapping cep numbers or comparing hair care products?

I guess Genc have absolutely nothing to play for now and for Galatasaray this probably guarantees UEFA football next season unless they suffer a complete meltdown over the next couple of weeks. Mind you on recent performaces that is nothing to get too excited about!!!

And now I await the comments!!!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Conspiracy theory

I have spent the last 10 days watching the Champions League and UEFA Cup quarter finals and have reached a conclusion about the standard of referees. Absolutely terrible.

I just finished watching the Tottenham Spanish Cheats match and could hardly believe some of the decisions. Every time one of the long haired Spanish cheats was so much as brethed on it was a free kick. However according to the fat bald Austrian incompetent in charge a rugby tackle in the area is not a penalty, stampng on an opponents head is not even worth a free kick, deliberate handball is not worth a yellow card, pushing in the back from a free kick is not a penalty either but one late tackle and a collapse and roll worthy of an Socar is enough for a red card if you playe for Tottenham. Although I am not a Spur fan I think they have been very badly tretaed after the ridicuous penalty in the first match and the non-award of three penalties tonight. I wonder if UEFA gave the referees istructions to make sure cheats prosper.

It was the same in most of the games. I think only Lubos Michel in the Man Utd Roma game actually had a good match. But he was helped there as Roma gave up after 3.

Bayern Munich also were on the end of a terrible performance in the first match with the award of a penalty for a perfectly good tackle. Man Utd were playing 12 in Roma in the first game and so on. Generally very very poor standards of referee performance. As for some of the acting performances, UEFA have got to introdue video review to make sure retrspective action is taken against the players like Gattuso who fign injury to stop and attack and then when the play is stoped for tretment are suddenly okay, but after the drop ball the ball is kicked way back to the goalkeeper. There is a name for this, cheating and Spanish and Italian teasm are masters at it.

Actually I was wondering how a team found guilty of bribing referees is allowed to compete in the Champions League, AC Milan of course. In addition the level of violence at Italian matches should have led to UEFA kicking them all out. But of course it did not happen, you have to wonder what the punishment would have been if the teams involved were English or Turkish as it seems to me that no matter how bad things are in Italy they never get punished.

The response of the Roma police to the Man Utd supporters was also interesting. Only put ploice on the Man Utd side and then when the Roma fans have run out of missiles to throw, the crowd runs n the terraces towards a barrier separating the supporters, you start to bet the crap out of one set of fans only! Then you justify it afterwards by saying you had no choice. I see when person is lying on the floor and you continue beating him with a stick that is acceptable even he has not attacked you in the first place. Interesting how the Italian mind (assuming they have one) works. They demand that GI's swo shot an Iatlian agen in a car that crashed through a checkpoint in Iraq are handed over for trial but the facists thugs....oops sorry police who attack unarmed supporters and use excessive levels of force have no identification and therefore cannot be prosecuted for what was in effect assault and battery. Hypocrites but what do you expect from a country that tolerates blatant racism and facism on the terraces and generally in life, name me a black Italian National Team soccer player........

I like the old joke bout Italy Q: Why is Italy shaped like a boot? A: Becos you cant get all that shit in a shoe.

Sums it up perfectly I think.

Oh well.

So Friday we have the small matter of Galatsaray beating Genclirbirlgi (I hope). Well they will have to play better than they did last week!!!! But then thats not tooo difficult..just so long as we win and can make sure of a UEFA Cup place for next season to help with the 33million of debt we have accumulated. I have to wonder how that happened coz it certainly is not on transfer fees and salaries!!!!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


So the season is finally over after the embarrassing and pathetic performance at home against a team in the relegation zone. After last season when the players fought to the end it seems like most of them have given up now. Well I assume that as many of them will be on the way out of Istanbul at the end of the season they don't care any more. Well if that is the case then maybe the club should not play them and let some of the younger players through.

Even though Gerets has signed a new contract it is difficult to see how he can survive although I have to say the choice of who to buy is not his!

Lets hope next season is better.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April fools

A classic match in Ankara today, free flowing foorball, no controversy, silky skills and no cards.......oh sorry that was the Spurs Reading match!!!!

All I can say is that CimBom certainly deserved to win today against a very limited Ankargucu team whose main aim was to kick the Galatasary players off the pitch. They almost succedded!! I cant remember who it was that made it his peronal mission to do this but he was correctl sent off in the second half. The strange thing was thta it was for a second yellow. However the double footed dive onto Inamoto's shin was worth a straight red but it seemed the referee was not too bothered about the tackle, just his reaction afterwards.....amazing.

If any of the Kanaks were there I guess they will be needing to buy new lighters or cep's, or they can ask Hasan for them!!!

Absolutley not a classic game, Necati's first goal being the highlight, a superb strike from a great cross from Hasan. The only Ankara player I can remember was Bebbe, an unfortunate name as the whole team may be crying like one soon.....

With the Kadikoy mob beating Ankaraspor and Galatasaray winning it has been a weekend for the first city to put the second city firmly in its place. Just hope Besiktas fail to round it off tomorrow. What is that all about anyway, matches on a Monday!!!!!