Searching for the Roots of Football Fandom in the City of Trabzon

Searching for the Roots of Football Fandom in the City of Trabzon

Room 151
Malet Street Building
Birkbeck College, University of London
London WC1E 7HX

Thursday 26th April, 2012, at 11.30am
(For directions click here)

Given by: Sevecen Tunç, PhD Candidate, Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.


Trabzon, located in the North East region of Turkey, is known as a football-mad city. The football passion of the city inhabitants attracts considerable attention not only from the media, but also recently from academia. However, the studies about the city’s football history are mostly focused on the period after the foundation of the Trabzonspor football club in 1967. The underlying reason behind this tendency is the “historic” footballing success of the team in the 1970s. However, due to this neglect of the pre-1967 period, many researchers fail to understand the objective and historical reasons for the close relationship between football and the city. Trabzon, which had been the leading port of the Ottoman Empire in the Black Sea region during the nineteenth century, lost its central position in the east in the early Republican period from the 1920s onwards. Trabzon, experiencing a sharp decline in its former preeminence, has instrumentalized football to restore its “civic pride”. Therefore, football did not only function just as a sport or a recreational activity, but it also acquired an important role of carrying the city to the national agenda.


  • Tunç, Sevecen (2009) Putting the City on the Map: A Social History of Football in Trabzon to 1967, MA Thesis, Boğaziçi University.

A copy of the book can be purchased at the following website.


Sevecen is a PhD candidate at Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Boğaziçi University. Her main areas of study are football, gender, body politics and port cities. She is the author of the book “Mektepliler, Münevverler, Meraklılar: Trabzon’da Futbolun Toplumsal Tarihi” published by Iletişim Publications and co-editor of “Bizde Futbol: Kaptan Rıza’ın Anıları” published by TAMEV Publications in 2011.

Contact Details

Contact details:

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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