Europe,  Istanbul,  TDM,  Travel Journal,  Turkey

Attend a Fenerbahce match in Istanbul (Turkey)

To buy tickets for a Galatasaray match, you must have a Passolig card. I wrote a detailed article on the subject here: how to get a Passolig card.

After attending a match of Galatasaray and one of Besiktas, I end my tour of the 3 mythical clubs of Istanbul with a match of Fenerbahce

A special feature of this evening: it is a mini-derby. Fenerbahce indeed faces another Istanbul club: İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor (Istanbul BB)

This match does not generate the same passion as the big derby between the 3 big ones: Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahce but the atmosphere promises to be warmer than the first two games I attended. Against small teams, the show in the grandstand left me a little bit hungry

Istanbul BB is a club that comes out of nowhere. Arrived for the first time in the first division only in 2007, climbed back into the elite in 2013, the club has been getting very good results since then and has consistently ranked in the top 4 in the last 4 championships

Theclub’s proximity to the party close to President Erdogan may have something to do with it, but we’re not here to talk politics

Before the start of this match, the crisis is brewing at Fenerbahce. Second in the last championship, the beginning of the season is catastrophic and the team is in 15th position. Istanbul BB makes a very good start and is in second position behind Galatasaray

The match takes place at Şükrü Saracoğlu Spor Kompleksi, a stadium opened in 1908, renovated several times since and which hosted the UEFA Cup final in 2009. Its current capacity is 50,509 seats

The stadium is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, so I take the boat to get there. It’s also possible to get there by metro or bus, but the boat (ferry) it’s still more fun 🙂 for 3TL/person

When I arrive on the Asian side, I am supposed to take a bus but the traffic is completely chaotic or even cut off by the police because of the match. So I finish the trip by 20 minutes on foot

So if you have to go to the stadium, make sure you leave some room. The itineraries that Google Maps will propose you do not take into account the traffic on the Asian side, so there is a good chance that you will have to finish the trip on foot

When I get to the stadium, I undergo the triple dig again, I’m starting to get used to it. The indications to find the grandstand are… incomprehensible to the unaccustomed. The accesses are indicated by numbers that do not correspond at all to the name of the grandstand that I have reserved, so I have to ask a stadier for help

Speaking of my reservation, I see there the limit of having a Passolig card without a team (which only allows me to book in the last 24 hours). Wishing to have corner seats to make the most of the atmosphere, I had no problem buying them for the first 2 games I attended

Being a more anticipated match today, everything is complete. With the exception of a mysterious tribune “Misafir Takim” where almost all the seats are available ..

Intrigued, I took care to inquire, this is the tribune dedicated to visitors! Having a Passolig “without club”, it seems that I can reserve a place in this tribune but it is to be avoided in my opinion ..

So I took by default a more expensive seat in the ALT H grandstand (210 TL). When I arrive in my grandstand: “wow”, I’m super well placed! Both close to the pitch while being high enough to have a global view of the game. There are besides beside me several policemen in civilian clothes because I am close to the official tribune where there seems to be important personalities

The fans are hot boiling as soon as they warm up, the occasion to notice that the hottest grandstand is the turn to my right ( OKUL ACIK TRİBÜNÜ ), especially in its upper part. The opposite bend (“migros tribünü”) also defends itself but isn’t as impressive

I take advantage of the warm-up to identify the few days I know

On the Fenerbahce side: Isla and André Ayew, both passed through Marseille (and especially the Juventus of Turin for the first one)

On the Istanbul BB side: Adebayor, passed by (among others) Monaco, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid. Gaël Clichy passed by Arsenal and Manchester City or Benzia lent by Lille

The game begins and Fenerbahce quickly takes the game to its account

The public is a connoisseur, it appreciates beautiful gestures, even defensive interventions, and does not hesitate to berate players who make bad choices or aren’t fast enough to their liking

Despite a festival of opportunities, Fenerbahce will not manage to score and will almost end up being punished by a goal at the end of the game (refused for offside following the intervention of the VAR)

The atmosphere was much better than the first two games I attended. A few regrets that I couldn’t make the turn. We’re still quite far from what the atmosphere of a “real derby” should be. I might have the opportunity to discover one on November 2nd (if I manage to get tickets…) with a Galatasaray – Fenerbahce

Summary of the game here: http: //

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