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Discussion Starter #1
What is the essence of being 'Besiktasli' and where are we headed as a community?

I had made public my fears about where we're headed (ie: loss of patience to achieve success, wanting instant gratification, younger fans not understanding the essence of Besiktas values etc.), and then I came across a pretty detailed yet successful analysis on a Besiktas discussion board.

I've breifly translated it, and would like to start a discussion among Besiktas fans. Do you agree or disagree, and what are your thoughts? I'm more concerned with the social/historical context of sports, which is why I always believe that beinig a Besiktas fan means A LOT. Being a Besiktas fan is different, and there are historical reasons for this. Now let's try to analyze it all and put it into perspective.

Here we go:

The turning point in terms of the change Besiktas is going through could quite possibly be the anti-Seba sentiments expressed in the stands durnig his final year, the cursing against him, and the congress which elected Bilgili as the 'new face' of Besiktas. Bilgili was a new type of leader, but something the Besiktas community wasn't used to. It might have been that, or it could very possibly also be the societal change which started taking place towards the end of thh 80's. With more TV stations popping up, people wanting 'more' regardless of how they get it, society wanting success without even deserving it, a cultural metamorphisis took place (towards the negative) which resulted in people doing 'whatever it takes' to succeed, knowing very well, that no one would question their actions as long as they're powerful and have contacts in high places.

It could be a combnination of both (ie: Change in Turkish society and its reflections on the Besiktas community). But whatever it is, something went wrong somewhere. Whatever happened, one thing is for sure. As the BESIKTAS COMMUNITY, we've changed as well.

The question everyone is preoccupied with nowadays is: 'What is a real Besiktas fan supposed to be like' or 'who is a real Besiktas fan'?Of course, if we take into account that it would be impossible to make such vast generalizations considering we have millions of fans, it's a tough question to answer. One thing is for sure though, there is a 'prototype' Besiktas fan.

Back in the day, Kurthan Simsek analyzed the fan bases of the 'three big teams', and declared that it was possible to divide the fans of these teams based on social classes. (Of course, a lot has changed since then).

He had stated that: 'Galatasaray is the team of the Aristocrats, Fenerbahce is the team of the Burjuvazi (bourgeoise) and Besiktas is the team of the 'proletarians' (ie: working class)'.

Of course, back then the the Borgeoise as a class was fairly new, but no one really made an attempt at disputing his argument. This is because a majority had a similar understanding. GS was the well 'cultured' team among the three, FB was the 'rich' team and BJK was the 'poor but hardworking' team.

For years, GS benefitted from the lycee culture (GS lisesi) and how it helped shape their future plans, FB always managed to play football based on 'stars' thanks to its economic power, and Besiktas simply benefitted from 'sticking together' and having a hardwork ethic.
Back then, Besiktasli's in the stands never claimed (unlike the fans of GS and FB) to have the 'most' amount of fans or to 'compete to win the championship'. They weren't in love with the 'results' but rather with the path which helped us achieve those results! (ie: winning the championship was good, but ensuring the continuity of Besiktas morals and ethics while doing so was more important)
Besiktasli's were after success resulting from protecting and implementing the values they believed in.

To be able to compete for success WHILE holding onto the Besiktas system of values, WAS SUCCESS, in their minds. (at least for a majority of the fans).

This is why, the fans of other teams would be at each others throats and make the nastiest statements or declerations against each other, but would always respect Besiktas. Opposing teams had 'stars' such as Yasin, Gokmen's, B. Mehmet's, Tanju's, Engin's, Ziya's, Cemil's, Alpaslan's, Oguzs etc…These players were big stars, and it took a lot of money to transfer them, something which Besiktas didn't have.

Whereas we had the Lutfu's, Saban's, Ziya's, Riza's, Feyyaz's…The total NT caps for all our players would probably be equivalent to the caps of Oguz alone. We were always given the 'third page' in sports papers, and always declared to be the 'third great'..but we always stood proud as BESIKTAS fans. We were always respectful, humble, hardworking, heads up in the air with pride, but knowing our limitations...

We didn't have presidents making statements such as 'Besiktas is the biggest club' back then. We didn't have managers claiming to have the most amount of fans either. Our slogan was: 'Herkes BESIKTASLI OLAMAZ' (Everyone CANNOT become a BESIKTAS fan) as opposed to the slogan of our opponents (birgun herkes xx'li olacak)…

And somewhere along the line, something changed…The humble and proud Besiktas profile gave way to a president wearing Armani Suits and appearing in papers with top models. And that wasn't enough, so we also managed to squeeze our way into the Economy sections of papers with our stock market shares, net worth's..etc…

Turkiye suddenly wasn't enough for us, and we had to become one of the best clubs in the 'world'. Not knowing more than 3 rounds in the UEFA cup, we suddenly set our goals at winning championships and making it to the finals. But the unfortunate part is, we ddint' know that such success wouldn’t come overnight.
We started equating 'success' with 'winning', losinig sight of our values and morals.

We forgot that Besiktas had always reached success with PATIENCE, HARD WORK, PRIDE and MORALS. All we talked about was success, but we forgot about what made us successful in the first place,

In short, we changed..and we changed a lot. I hope that the true culture and soul of our community starts shaping our future once again, or we will loose everythign Besiktas stands for. But I also can't help but wonder if Besiktas will be able to distance itself from the chaos, the loss of morals and values and the decay Turkish society and Turkish sports is going through.How much of its essence can Besiktas hold onto? Only time will tell.

My only hope is that people like Riza, those coming out of the Besiktas ranks and understanding the true meaning of what it is to be a true 'Besiktas'li will perhaps help us all get back in touch with our traditions. After Baba Hakki and Seba, maybe Riza is what we need.
He came through our youth system and lived half his life in our club. What we need more than anything is someone like him to help our younger generations understand what it is to be the 'poor but hardworking' member of the Turkish football family.
 

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D you bring some very good points to light with this thread.

As stated in the post... undoubtedly there have been changes amongst Besiktas fans and the community in general. We must first figure out why these changes have occured and how much more can we expect. Well it is inevitable that people and the way people think/act are going to change through out time. This is obvious with what is currently going on. If we look at the Turkish society as a whole we have seen big changes within our culture and people within the last few decades. This has also been seen and felt in our own Besiktas community.

I don't think that something went "wrong" that these changes occured. The change within our community is something that happend through time. Yes, it is clear and obvious that there has been a change in our fanbase say if we compare it to the 80's/90's to today. This is without a dout. I can say that the fans and Besiktas supporters of the 80's and early/mid 90's were much more die hard and supportive than the ones of today. I believe that the fans related themselves to the team much more. What I'm trying to say is this.... the people of Turkiye back then were struggling and their social state was worse than it was today. Since Besiktas was a team who represented "the people" (poor but hardworking, working class, etc) the people felt closer and related themselves to the team. They (the fans) saw the passion and drive that the players and the team had inside of them and this allowed for Besiktas to hold down a strong and loyal fan base.

When we ask what or who is a true Besiktas fan.... it is really hard to give a true definition. Is it the person who goes to every game? Is it the fan who watches every game from TV? Is it the person who knows everything there is to know about Besiktas since 1903? It's very hard to classify and categorize who is a REAL Besiktas fan. For instance my uncle who is a hardcore Besiktas fan traveled and followed the team for 3 years from 92-95 to every single game. He tells me stories where he would sleep on benches, on the bus, shower in the ocean... just so that he would be able to budget money his money accordingly to be able to purchase tickets to the games. He did this for 3 years. Now, is he a real fan or is the kid who owns endless amounts of Besiktas jerseys, flags, banners.. but doesn't know who the president of Besiktas before Demiroren was?

It's sad to see the changes but its almost impossible to stop them. With the drastic changes that occured and are still occuring within the Turkish cultre and society it is hard for the after shocks to be not felt within our community. The changes can't be stopped but that doesn't mean we can't be "real" fans during the times of changes. We need to educate! Through education will come understanding of Besiktas' principles, values, morals, and basic beliefs. This is the only way one will truly understand Besiktas. The person has to have the drive and wanting within themselves first before they begin to learn. This is important. Im sure there are tons of people that like Besiktas because of the teams colors, because of the eagle, because of one player.... but we can not discredit those people and say that they are not fans. We are going to have different types of fans. Times change, people change, Besiktas will change. This we can not stop nor can we avoid it. There will be the fans who know Besiktas from A-Z and their will be fans who know only the name Besiktas. Our fan bases knowledge about the team is diverse and will only become more diverse as time goes on.

Yes, It would be great if everyone knew everything about Besiktas and stood by Besiktas' system of values but we need to understand that - that's not going to happen. It all comes down to how much we as an individual let ourself know and want to know about Besiktas. Some are going to be into BJK more than others. I must say that most of our fanbase does understand (maybe doesn't know it in and out) and respects Besiktas' system of values and morals. Those people who want instant gratification and wins only want it because they wan't their team to do the best IMO... this is normal... it's human instict. We want the best for something we like. It's almost like someones child.... If that child doesn't do well in a class and receives a poor grade the parent usually gets mad and yells at the child. The parent doesn't do this cause they like to... but because they are upset that their child isn't doing well.. they want the best for their child or in our case Besiktas.

This is the way I see it. I don't think that Besiktas will fall apart or that we will lose everything Besiktas stands for. Like I said before... times change and people change. If anything our community will get larger through time. We will not be able to exactly define who or what a TRUE Besiktas fans is but we will be able to categorize ourselves by what and how much we know about Besiktas. This is what will distinguish one fan from another.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Good points Forza, and you bring up issues which every Besiktas fan should think about.

Of course it's impossible to describe your 'typical' Besiktas fan, but it IS possible to determine the 'essence' of BESIKTAS as aclub.
What is this essence? Hard working, not rich but proud, 'the people's team' as they were referred to.

Now, for me, especially with the existence of socially conscious fans under the leadership of people like Alen Makaryan, Being a Besiktas fan means having a different perspective on football and ethics.

Let me put it this way. For others, the end goal might be to 'win' but for us it should be to 'succeed'. But in the last decade, We've lost track of what the correct definition of success is.

As stated in my first post, it is about ensuring the continuity of values and ethics while playing to succeed. To do so, could be described as success on its own. That's why this commmunity embraces Riza and the likes of him: because they represent the values Besiktas holds dear to itself, such as family, ethics, morals, hard work ethic...(Remember that Riza used to work for hours after practices to improve the technical aspect of his game-something which he lacked dearly at the beginning of his career).
And for us the end should never justify the means.

Also...
Besiktas fans are known to have a different perspective on football in Turkiye. We are generally the first to scream out loud against injustices, to demand justice is served, to make social statements in our chants or banners (remember the banners against the war on Iraq or about the Bosnian war?).

This is because we know that football in Turkiye can only develop as much as our society/government/laws develop. If we have corrupt officials in Turkiye, then we're bound to have a corrupt league.
We believe that we can't distance sports from society, therefore we question issues which the fans of other teams would rather not.

To me, this is an important part of being a Besiktas fan. It's not about 'politics' (ie: fans of other teams might hate the TFF president and their presidents might lobby to have someone else elected), but more about social/societal change and justice for us. It's never about individuals, but about organizations and their methods of action...

Throughout the 90's, Turkish society traded in social conscience for capitalistic ethics and morals. Teenagers started knowing more about Michael Jackson than about the history of the Republic or about politics (which determine where we're headed as a country).

I think Besiktas fans need to resist the urge to become a capitalist enterprise. NO, we shouldn't boast about signing the biggest transfer, NO we shouldn't boast about having the best stadium, and NO we shouldn't be concerned over our value in the stock market.

Id' rather be proud of having a football team consisting of players coming through our youth teams (such as the case during the metin-ali-feyyaz era).
The first BIG transfer Besiktas ever made was Shifo Mehmet. Prior to that, we managed to succeed with our own players. And when you do so, you can boast about having a 'culture' which is hard to find, and impossible to buy with money. THAT is what we need to do again.

And we need to ensure our newer generations understand this. We're different, and we represent something other teams dont-we need to win back what we represent. 'Herkes Besiktasli OLAMAZ'. Everyone CAN"t Become a Besiktas fan. This is because everyone can't endure what it takes to be a Besiktas fan. In the last year alone, we've faced injustices which are unbelievable, and neither the media nor the authorities listened to our complaints. It's because Besiktas doesn't have the lobbying power and the buying power of other teams. And I don't mind that, beause at least I know that I'm supporting something which time and time again stands up to injustice and manages to win, despite all that's being done against it.

As Suleyman Seba said: 'Ben bu takimin hakemleri de yendigini gordum'-

People like Sinan Engin and Aladdin Cakici are a disgrace, and they never should be alolowed in this club. I don't care about the corruption going on in other clubs (such as Sedat Peker etc.), we're responsible for our own backyard before anything else.

And when demanding justice, we should demand it equally and for all teams alike. That's why I always say: the TFF shold launch an investigation into bribery and corruption and look into the books of ALL clubs'. Because for us, JUSTICE is more important than anyuthing else. And if someone did something wrong at Besitkas, they too should be punished, even if this is bad for the club.

THAT is what makes us different. THe rest is just icing on the cake.
What do you think?
And what does Yasko and Black Egle think?

cheers :)
 

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I became a Besiktas fan when i was around 4 or 5 years old. The first championship i remember is the one we won early 80s (82 i think). The first championship i could really follow was our third one in 91-92 season i think. But i became a REAL Besiktas supporter the next season, and most of you who followed our team than probably know why. ;)

Back then i learned that our team does not resemble the other teams. Our team is more modest, more prone to injustice, like you say earlier that our team does not have the lobbying power, the media power of the other rivals. But we also had someone like Suleyman Seba who could really keep the values of the club. Especially in Sebas early years many of the players were our own products like Riza or Feyyaz.

But once the championships of early 90s ended we slowly started to become more desperate, a desperation our club probably did not even feel in 70s. Seba eventually started to compromise from our principes, we started to get players like Ertugurul or Ayhan Akman were the club was forced to play large amounts of transfer fees. Also after the early 90s our youngster system started to dry out, our last great player from the youngster system is Sergen and he is 30+.

So my opinion is that we slowly started to as you say loose our values during the end of Seba era. But his behaviour was allways in same path of our values. Once Bilgili took over, that changed. I have to be honest here, i was one of them that wanted Seba to leave, i felt that during that time our board were just too paralyzed at the end of his reign. If i could see the future, and the way things turned out i would rather want to see Hasan Arat as a president. He was at least a continued link from Seba to the future.

But i dont agree with you D-Lite when you say that we have to fight the capitalist structure of modern football. We cant be sailing against the windes. I agree that we should bring up youngsters from our system, but we have to at the same way cope the competition from the other big clubs. No, we should not compromise from our identity to become the biggest, greatest etc. But we should not forget that we live in Turkey and our goal should be that we are "relatively" different from the others as far as its possible. But turning the club to another "Liverpool" where people one day might say "the former big club Besiktas" should not be the goal. I dont want my club to be a second Vefa....

That doesnt mean that we should buy, refs, opponents, being bussy with giving "tesfik primi" or other dirty work. Hell, i prefer "serefli ikincilikler" to a dirty championship, any time...
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Good post Yasko, I agree. We are afterall, a part of this system. So you might be correct in your interpretation about us and our capitalistic endevours. No argument here, we can't sail against teh wind. BUT we can use the wind to our benefit without giving up and handing all control over to it.

We don'tneed to buy extremely expensive players when we can brign up good players ourselves. For decades, Beiktas was known and respected for the success of its youth system.

Suddenly, some people decided that it was more important to make bigname transfers :(

To be honest, a club which brought up players like Metin-ALi-Feyyaz-Riza, or players like Sergen or Nihat Kahveci knows what its doing.
I think the basis is still there, but it needs aggressive support from teh whole community. For instance, take Ali Ozturk. The kid just scored a bunch of goals in the friendly, and he's a product of our youth system.

Same with Serdar Ozkan-he's a promising player, and a product of our youth system.

Problem is, we need administrations that can distance themselves from populist policies (such as Kivanc oktay and his photos with the 20 odd transfers at the beginning of this season), and ensure these kids integrate with the Main team.

Because with all the injustices committed against us (you mention the early 1990's and we all know what happened back then and how we were robbed, certain revelations were made this year alluding to corruption and bribery-something we all knew already), we need players with real BESIKTAS VALUES to fight with their hearts and souls on the field.

THat's what Riza did..and that's why his generation was so successful. And after witnessing their intense battles, that's why Suleyman Seba said: 'ben Besiktas'in hakemleri yendigini de gordum'.
So in short, we need more than just professional players. We need players who represent and live our values...That's the only way Besiktas can succeed.

That's why I'm excited about Riza, he is a coach that can appreciate Besiktas's youth system, and help supoort it. Foreign coaches will be gunning for success. We need people and administrations that will think about the success of BESIKTAS as a community and club before anythign else.

I'm hoping to see more players come through the ranks of our youth system so we can present Turkish football with new stars Like Sergen or Nihat ;)

But that's only one piece of teh puzzle. THe other piece involves our fanbase. I will never forgive those that disgracefully cursed at Seba.
We need to make sure their voices remain a distant cloud so we can regain continuityu-because out of continuity comes success.

there's more, but i just wanted to mention the youth system, since you touched upon it. But like FOrza, i too have to go now :D

cheers :)

And BTW, Tumer Metin might not be a product of our youth system, but he exemplifies Besiktas values with his heart and soul. Just had to mention that. I love the guy. Did yo know that he even goes to support the Besiktas basketball team in his free time?
 

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D-lite said:
We don't need to buy extremely expensive players when we can brign up good players ourselves. For decades, Beiktas was known and respected for the success of its youth system.

So in short, we need more than just professional players. We need players who represent and live our values...That's the only way Besiktas can succeed.

That's why I'm excited about Riza, he is a coach that can appreciate Besiktas's youth system, and help supoort it. Foreign coaches will be gunning for success. We need people and administrations that will think about the success of BESIKTAS as a community and club before anythign else.
Besiktas needs to maintain these points in an ever changing society. This is what will make us a STRONG and UNIFIED team. I have said it before.... the Besiktas that I want to see is a strong and unified one. In order to achieve that strength and unity we need players who play with heart while understanding our value system. The players who understand this and apply this to their game play IMO are far above professional. They are the ones who can be called a "REAL BESIKTASLI". I don't need to list names of players but we all know which players have stood by this.....

Since Calimbay has come out of the Besiktas system he truly understands the morals and values set forth in the Besiktas community. We all know how hard he worked... there is no need to get into that. Although I must mention that not only did he work hard he ALWAYS went the extra mile. I was wacthing a mini documentary on him on NTV yesterday. Riza would be the first to come to practice and the last to leave. In addition to his dedication he would always set up and clean up after each game and practice. I'm getting off topic but I just wanted to show a few examples of this man's dedication to his team and game play. I know that he will apply this to his coaching and bring that unity I mentioned earlier into the team.

I have total faith and fully stand behind our great coach. Watch next year how Besiktas comes out...... Kara Kartal ortaligi nasil dagitiyoooooo goreceksiniz.
 
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