Euro 2008 – Turkey’s Into Another Soccer Semi-Final

The streets of Turkey’s cities and towns would have gone wild last night after Turkey beat Croatia on 3-1 penalties in the Euro 2008 semi final. The score was 0-0 at the end of normal time and then 1-1 after extra time. In another dramatic escape, Turkey equalised with the last kick of extra time, a few moments after the Croats celebrated what they thought was their winning goal. In an amazing statistic, Turkey has only lead their opponents for a total of 9 minutes this tournament.

The following Reuters article headline (“Christmas comes early for rescued Turkey“) is amusing for a largely Muslim country:

Over at Ankara Football Oz Kanka has posted photos of locals celebrating Turkey’s group win against the Czech Republic. He’ll probably upload photos from the Croatia festivities later today.

I was living in Mersin during the 2002 World Cup and the streets were chaotic after Turkey beat Senegal with a golden goal in the quarter final. People drove around with flags waving, horns tooting and general disdain for laws (hey, that’s no different to normal :). In the city centre locals rocked random cars up and down, testing the suspension. A genuine feeling of happiness and joy permeated the streets, something rarely felt society-wide in the aftermath of Turkey’s early 2001 economic collapse.

Absolutely no work (or other non-TV-watching activities) was done anywhere in Turkey during the 2002 World Cup semi final versus Brazil and I’m sure the same will be the case with this upcoming semi final versus Germany. Go Turkey!

Bulent Ersoy And Turkey’s Growing Pains

I found the above news article from today’s Daily Shopper newspaper about Turkish singer Bulent Ersoy notable for two reasons:

1) The story is another example of Turkey’s immaturity and slow development as a democratic nation. Turkey will never reach its huge potential until a) she gives greater value to freedom of speech and b) her military’s political powers are curtailed.

2) The article does not mention or focus on the fact that Bulent is a transsexual and instead sticks the relevant facts (something odd for a tabloid paper).

The BBC has more on the story.