The Passion

The Passion : Football and the Story of Modern Turkey

4.14 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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In 1981 a young semi-professional footballer - known as `Imam Beckenbauer' for his piety and his dominant style of play - has his career cut short after a confrontation with Turkey's military junta. His name was Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and three decades later he is Turkey's most powerful ruler since Ataturk....'
Turkey is a nation obsessed with football. From the flares which cover the stadium with multi-coloured smoke and often bring play to a halt, to the `conductors' - ultras who lead the `walls of sound' at matches, Turkish football has always been an awesome spectacle. And yet, in this politically fraught country, caught between the Middle East and the West, football has also always been so much more. From the fan groups resisting the government in the streets and stands, to ambitious politicians embroiling clubs in Machiavellian shenanigans, football in Turkey is a site of power, anger, and resistance.
Journalist and football obsessive Patrick Keddie takes us on a wild journey through Turkey's role in the world's most popular game. He travels from the streets of Istanbul, where fans dodge tear gas and water cannons, to the plains of Anatolia, where women are fighting for their rights to wear shorts and play sports. He meets a gay referee facing death threats, Syrian footballers trying to piece together their shattered dreams, and Kurdish teams struggling to play football amid war. `The Passion' also tells the story of the biggest match-fixing scandal in European football, and sketches its murky connections to the country's leadership. In doing so he lifts the lid on a rarely glimpsed side of modern Turkey.
Funny, touching and beautifully observed, this is the story of Turkey as we have never seen it before.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 30.48mm | 508g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1784538027
  • 9781784538026
  • 683,525

Review quote

"Patrick Keddie takes us inside the unceasing Turkish football conversation. The game turns out to be a great device to explain this little understood, football-mad country and its football-mad ruler (who recently banned the foreign word "arena", forcing many Turkish stadiums to be renamed). The Passion is an energetically researched history of Turkey through football." * Simon Kuper, Financial Times columnist and author of Football Against the Enemy * "I found The Passion a captivating account of modern Turkey, its passions and frustrations; perhaps it won't make you fall in love with Turkish football, but it will help you see why it is so central in understanding Turkey's soul." * Kaya Genc, author of Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey * the writer's own passion for his subject is obvious throughout a highly readable and impressively far-reaching work that deserves attention from followers of football and Turkey alike. -- Michael Mackenzie * Ahval News * The depth of research undertaken by Keddie is laudable and what could have easily have turned out to be a dry, academic, turgid tome is thankfully anything but. The book is well thought out and structured and commendably offers a voice to parties who would otherwise struggle to be heard outside of the country. -- Paul McParlan * The Football Pink * Turkish football is an exemplar of a world where football is ever more reflective of our social conditions, and ever more politicised. It now has an exemplary chronicler and interpreter in Patrick Keddie whose The Passion is a fabulous guide to everything from President Erdogan's football obsession to Kurdish resistance through the game. * David Goldblatt, author of The Ball is round: A Global History of Football and The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football *
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About Patrick Keddie

Patrick Keddie is a journalist and essayist based in Istanbul. A reporter for Al Jazeera, his writing has also appeared in VICE, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, the Irish Times, the LA Review of Books, Middle East Eye and the Sunday Herald among others.
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Rating details

7 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 29% (2)
4 57% (4)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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