Ali Demirkaya is the hero Turkey deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
The superfan of Turkish soccer club Denizlispor got Soup Nazi’d from Denizli Ataturk Stadium. But he wasn’t going to let a little twelve-month ban get in the way of a good time when his team played host to Gaziantepspor on Saturday.
And in a move that might very well have impressed Ataturk himself were the founding hero of the modern Turkish nation around to see it, Demirkaya rented a boom lift, mistakenly identified by the sports media as a crane, and watched the game from the ultimate skybox:
Demirkaya paid 354 Turkish lira, or about $84 USD, for his DIY bleachers.
The only thing missing was the köfte ekmek, a meatball sandwich that, according to UEFA, is the most popular stadium food in Turkey.
Unfortunately for Demirkaya, he wasn’t able to watch all 90 minutes of the match; police in the vicinity of the stadium on Denizli caught wise to what he was doing and ejected him from his seat at the 75-minute mark of Denizlispor’s 5-0 home victory.
Of course, there was deception involved in creating the ruse in the first place, as Demirkaya explained.
“That match was very important for our team,” he told a local newspaper. “I had to go to the police station to sign a paper to show that I am not watching the match in the stadium. Then, I quickly went to rent the crane.”
“I paid 354 liras for the rent. I started watching from the 75th minute but police officers didn’t allow me to watch until the end.”
From another angle, you can see about where the actual seat was relative to the field; in American football terms, it looks like his view was from about the 20-yard line, as he’s just past the 18-yard box that marks the soccer penalty area.
One wonders what Demirkaya will try next.
After all, there are plenty of tall buildings in the vicinity of the stadium; perhaps he can bribe one of the owners to let him up onto the roof with a pair of good binoculars or a telescope.
Or maybe any fan who is willing to go to such absurd lengths to cheer on his home squad should be not banished but celebrated.
Indeed, whatever he did, it doesn’t matter. He’s earned a shot at getting back in the good graces of the stadium staff.
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