Fenerbahçe S.K. Football Club, Turkish Süper Lig Champions 1996
This selection of photographs was commissioned by photoARTS 2000 and the European Commission’s Regional Challenge Award to photograph the end of season celebrations of the Turkish Süper Lig Championship football cup winners in Istanbul, the resulting exhibition would publicise Turkey’s first tournament entry into the Euro ’96’ football championships. The underlying purpose of this assignment was to build bridges of common interest between the UK and Turkey, namely the love of football.
In order to proceed with this commission I made a three day recce to Istanbul to make contacts and plan a schedule for photography. On arrival I contacted one of the many newspapers in Istanbul and with help from journalists from the sports desk, I was put in touch with Hasan Cemalí one of their regular freelance sports writers.
I returned several weeks later to follow and photograph the final week of the Turkish Süper Lig season in Istanbul. Hasan recommended I follow the fortunes of Fenerbahçe S.K which together with Galatasaray and Istanbulspor make up the three Turkish Süper Lig football teams in Istanbul. Hasan’s help was invaluable and thanks to his considerable knowledge and contacts he obtained a pitch side photographers pass for me at Fenerbahçe’s Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Kadıköy, Istanbul.
Fenerbahçe beat rivals Istanbulspor 2:0 on the 15th May 1996 making them Turkish Süper Lig Champions, their first championship victory in seven years.
Throughout my time in Istanbul I was impressed by the help offered, passion and enthusiasm shown to me by Fenerbahçe football supporters. Many gave me scarves, wristbands, caps and other football momentous as souvenirs, my thanks to them.
The resulting exhibition was shown at various venues throughout the UK, finally returning to Istanbul for the International Photo Biennial in October 1996.
[F01] Fenerbahçe supporters wait for players to leave the clubs training ground on the outskirts of Istanbul. They hope a player will stop for a photograph or sign an autograph.
[F02] Fenerbahçe fan on a street corner in the district of Kadıköy, close to Fenerbahçe’s Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul.
The following photographs were taken at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Kadıköy, home ground to Fenerbahçe S.K. on the 15th May 1996. It was the final match of the Turkish Süper Lig Championship. Fenerbahçe beat Istanbulspor 2:0, celebrations moved from the stadium to Taksim Square and continued until 2am.
[F03] Policeman beneath the giant image of Kemal Atatürk the founder and first president of modern Turkey at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.
[F04] Disabled supporter pitchside. Supporters with disabilities are given preferential seating at the stadium.
[F05] Disabled supporters on the pitchside.
[F06] Fan on top of the perimeter stadium wall.
[F07] Fan laments a near miss.
[F08] Fans celebrate a Fenerbahçe goal.
[F09] Couple with twin children dressed in Fenerbahçe team colours are presented with bouquets of flowers at half time.
[F10] Captain Oğuz Çetin carries the Turkish Super League Winners Cup after his team 2:0 win over Istanbulspor.
[F11] Club president Ali Haydar Şen on his way to the players changing room to congratulate his team’s victory.
[F12] Victorious supporters return by ferry from Kadıköy across the Bosphorus to continue their celebrations in Taksim Square.
[F13] Young supporter and his family return by ferry from Kadıköy to Istanbul.
[F14] Celebrations in Taksim Square, Istanbul. They started at 5pm and ended at 2am.
[F15] Celebrating supporters, Taksim Square.
[F16] Celebrating supporters, Taksim Square.
[F17] Celebrating supporters, Taksim Square.
[F18] Celebrating supporters, Taksim Square.
[F19] The following Sunday morning a fisherman by the side of the Bosphorus reads a newspaper account of Fenerbahçe’s 2:0 win against Istanbulspor.
[F20] Fenerbahçe supporters aboard their fishing boat on the Bosphorus celebrate yesterday’s win.
[F21] Turkish football supporters on Princess Island, Istanbul. They look forward to Turkey competing for the first time in the Euro ’96’ football championships later in the year.
All images are Strictly Copyright © 2018 Bill Stephenson All Rights Reserved