After a 2 year absence i finally returned to Ankara to meet with all the different fan groups and friends. On Friday night we all met at Beyzade restaurant where we enjoyed dinner and drinks, well some of us enjoyed drinks and some of us cant remember their drinks :-). A great turn out, as Myself, Harun, Jim, Damon, John, Chris, Bugra, Haruns three friends, Tansu and Ankaragucu captain and Goalkeeper Bayram Olgun. Hope i haven't missed anyone. I would just like to say thanks to everyone who turned up and gave me such a warm and generous welcome. All the names above apart from Bugra and Bayram are part of the Kanka Group which is made up of the foreign Kankas and Turks to. Bugra belongs to Gecekondu.
Onto Saturday and i met with Bugra and we met up with members of Anti X, Bugra explained that i had travelled from Scotland for the match which drew a few confused and surprised faces. A nice group of people though and they were telling us they are not going to the matches at the moment in protest against Cemal Aydin.
After meeting with Anti X we set off for a long walk to the Ankara Castle which is situated high up the mountains of Ankara. On the way we stopped off at a museum which has Kemal Mustafa Ataturks gun and military gear in it. Once we got to the top of the mountain the views of Ankara were stunning, you could see all the famous landmarks like Genclik Park, Kocateppe Mosque, The Sheraton etc. Once up there we went into a village where the locals were doing their day to day chores, in all the years I've been travelling this was one of the most interesting places I've ever been.
On the way back home, we stopped off at Dernegi which is home to Turkeys most feared fan group, The Gecekondu. With a reputation for being one of the most hostile areas of Ankara we met up with Ali Imdat and Koray the leaders of Gecekondu. They kindly gave us Turkish Tea and allowed us into the Dernegi building where Ali was born as a child. Ali then presented myself and Bugra with an Ankaragucu badge and took us for dinner which i have to add was excellent. While walking to the restaurant you could see the respect the locals had for the Gecekondu leaders. This wasn't your dressed up Danny Dyer stuff, this was the real Football Factory.
Today is match day, Ankaragucu host Kartalspor at the 19 Mayis stadium where we will watch from the Gecekondu tribune. A win would be the perfect end to a fantastic week. Saldir Ankaragucu !