The Derby and the Damage Done

Posted on May 5, 2012


The constant sound coming from Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium is like the white noise from a snowy TV. Then someone turns the giant volume knob slowly up then slowly back down, and you know either Fenerbahçe or Galatasaray has found net. The most bloodthirsty rivalry in one of the most football crazy countries on the globe.

I went to Yoğurtcu park which is a little greenspace along the Kurbağlıdere river. The river’s slow stinky course flows right next to the Fenerbahçe Şukru Saracoğlu Stadium. In a country where every day something else becomes illegal, drinking in public parks has been banned completely. However, on derby day, the park is transformed into frenzied offering to Bacchus. Not only were fans openly enjoying a beer, people had brought wine glasses and were popping champagne. One bench was turned into a fully stocked bar with several choices of hard liquor. Laws are something that baffle me here in Turkey. Everyone else must have got the memo though. On Derby day, all bets and laws are off. Except for one law. If its a home game in Kadıköy, Canaries beat Lions everytime.

I’ve assembled these photos to give you a before and after look at Yoğurtcu park. I went with my two pugs the morning after, and I really pittied the city workers who had to clean the place up the next day. Enjoy!