The History and Culture of Turkish Football

Location: Turkey (main site), Greece (additional research)

Year(s): 2016-2017

Research Fellow: Dr John McManus

Funding: BIAA

Under BIAA SRI(s):  

  • Cultural heritage, society and economy in Turkey 
  • Interconnections of peace and conflict: culture, politics institutions in national, regional and international perspectives

Summary: This research project aims at exploring the history and culture of Turkish football, with specific attention to the game’s role as a dynamic site of cultural heritage. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews and archival work, this project is an anthropological look at Turkish football from a variety of angles and locales – from current players, former managers and club administrators, to supporter groups and refugee initiatives. It argues that the social history of football suggests a more fluid and multiculturalist narrative of Turkey’s social and cultural development. It contributes to the field of contemporary Turkish studies by enhancing the current understanding of the role of popular culture in shaping identity and integration.

Resulting Publications: 


McManus, J (2018) Welcome to Hell? In search of the real Turkish Football (London: Orion Press)

Journal Article

McManus, J (forthcoming) Modern Enchantments:
Media, Fandom and Distraction among Diaspora Turkish Football Supporters

Dr John McManus is a social anthropologist specialising in the study of sport, digital media and migration in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora. John received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2016. His thesis, entitled, Playing the game: a study of transnational Turkish football fans, imaginations and the internet was funded by an Economic and Social Research council scholarship, and explores how the internet affects the generation of football fan clubs in the Turkish diaspora.


Belongs to;
Contemporary Turkish Society & Politics
History, Politics and Social Sciences

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