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Welcome to Hell?

In search of the real Turkish football

April 26, 2018
Thursday at 6.30pm
Free entry, booking required. Post-lecture drinks included.
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British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Speaker: John McManus
Presented by the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA), London, and sponsored by Orion Publishers.

Ask a British football fan what they know about Turkish football, and they are unlikely to describe scenes of camaraderie, hospitality and humour. They are most likely to mention banners proclaiming ‘Welcome to hell’. Or Leeds United supporters stabbed to death on an Istanbul street. In this lecture, based on his forthcoming book, anthropologist John McManus shows why Turkish football deserves to shake off that image. He opens a window onto the rich, funny, obsessive, fan culture that he has encountered on the terraces of grounds across the country, from the elite training facilities of Istanbul to the dusty pitches of the Syrian border. He shows how fans and clubs have grappled with the game’s rapid commercialisation, and how football has become entwined with darker social and political developments. In the process, he reveals how football – an under-explored topic in Turkish studies – can offer a window into the nation at a time of turmoil and flux.

Dr John McManus is an anthropologist and post-doctoral fellow at the British Institute at Ankara, where he researches sport, digital media and migration in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora. Welcome to Hell? is his first book.

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