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Galatasaray S.K

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Galatasaray S.K

Post by ultrAslan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:04 pm

ultrAslan


ultrAslan is a fan group of Turkish football team Galatasaray SK which was created in 2001. It is the biggest and the most internationally known football fan organization in Turkey.

Creation
The Lion is the symbol of Galatasaray SK. Therefore, a fan group called Aslanlar (the Lions) was created in 1996; the most active members of this group were living in Kadiköy, a quarter on the Asian side of Istanbul. The most famous banner of this fan group was "Kadiköylü Aslanlar" (The Lions of Kadiköy).

In 1999, the old leaders of Galatasaray stands, who had been brought away from the stands, decided to come back. They kicked the leaders of "Aslanlar" out of the stands and became the leaders of the stands again. No big group existed at the time and the Kapali stand of Ali Sami Yen Stadium, where the most fanatic fans stay, was made of a mosaic of small groups.

After Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup against Arsenal FC in 2000, some fans decided that such a big club deserved more organized support. The smaller groups unified to form one large group, and they chose for their name ultrAslan, which means Ultras Lions. They also created an association to raise funds for tifos or products, called Genç Galatasaraylilar Dernegi (Association of Young Galatasaray Fans). The goal of the group was to be an "Independent Fan Association" which would unite all Galatasaray fans in the Kapali stand and support Galatasaray everywhere and in all its sports branches.

Unlike some other Ultras groups, ultrAslan, or uA, are apolitical. Their symbol is a roaring lion, specially designed for them, and their name is always written with the same font on their banners. ultrAslan has no official friendship with other Ultras groups yet. Their enemies are all of those who don't respect them or their team


History
The group organized its first tifo in 2001 against Deportivo La Coruña in UEFA Champions League. The game was played on Valentine's Day. Thus, the tifo was made of yellow sheets and a big flag showing a huge heart and saying "ONLY YOU".

Internal subdivisions then developed within ultrAslan. ultrAslan-ÜNI was launched to organize all Galatasaray fan groups in Turkish universities. ultrAslan-BH is the youth section of the group, mostly made up of college students.

Since its formation, ultrAslan has suffered criticism from the Turkish media, who often caricature them as hooligans without any justification, and from the jealousy of their opponents.

However, the old stand leaders feared that ultrAslan would control the Kapali stand in their place, and some problems began. Finally, on 6 May 2002, when Galatasaray played at Fenerbahçe's Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium, the stands leader, Sebo, appeared wearing an ultrAslan scarf. All the problems look solved. New sections like Ölümüne ("Till we die"), Sultans and Yürüyedur ("Keep Walking") appeared in the same time.

A special section called ultrAslan-Europe was created for Turkish immigrants in Europe, and they made their first appearance in Anfield against Liverpool on 20 February 2002. This section has subdivisions in Germany, the Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and France. The ultrAslan banner was present for Turkey games during World Cup 2002 in Japan & South Korea.

The same year, Galatasaray new president Özhan Canaydin was elected, with the goal of promoting "fair play" in Turkish football. He made several decisions against fans' wishes. For example, he attempted to bar them from attending away derby matches. A war with the fans began. When Galatasaray played against FC Barcelona on 24 September 2002, some ultrAslan fans threw dozens of lit flares on the pitch, so the club would receive a fine from UEFA, in order to punish Canaydin. Several days later, in a league match against Istanbulspor, ultrAslan decided to leave the Kapali stand for the Eski Açik stand behind the goal and attented the game their backs turned to the pitch to protest against the board. At the end of the game, there were violent incidents between ultrAslan members and the police.

On 6 November 2002, Galatasaray played against Fenerbahçe in Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium. The Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray derby is one of the most intense rivalries in football, and there was fighting between the fans of both sides. At halftime, Galatasaray fans were removed from the stadium by the police. Some were arrested, and many of ultrAslan's most active members got heavy stadiums bans. The Galatasaray board continued its stance against ultrAslan. After pressure from the board, the Genç Galatasaraylilar Dernegi organization was closed and only the name ultrAslan stayed. Because of these conditions, many uA leaders decided to leave the group, resulting in disorganization and a lack of funds. They lost the local they got in Istanbul and their official membership system disappeared. ultrAslan sections appeared in lots of cities in Turkey, with their own banners, without any centralized control.

In April 2003, Galatasaray SK obtained the right to sell in its stores products carrying the ultrAslan logo, and ultrAslan became a registered trademark. The result of this is that anyone can buy ultrAslan products and say "I'm an ultrAslan". Some criticized that decision, arguing that ultrAslan woud lose its independence and its specificity, but others approved of it, saying it could earn money for the club (an important consideration as Galatasaray is threatened by enormous debt.)

In the following season (2003/2004), Galatasaray played in Atatürk Olympic Stadium. ultrAslan decided to stay in the main stand, also called Kapali. Since the end of 2002, Yürüyedur, a 25-member group of Galatasaray fans, which started as a section of ultrAslan, was slowly growing apart from ultrAslan. They had their own products, their own website, they organized wonderful tifos against Fenerbahçe and Besiktas alone. They were more and more loved and respected in Galatasaray stands. On the other side, ultrAslan wasn't organizing much, due to the absence of the association and a lack of funds and motivated people.

The old stand leaders were embarrassed of Yürüyedür's growing popularity in the stands. Therefore, they prevented them from bringing their banners to the stadium, unless they clearly stated their relation to ultrAslan. At the same time, a new group called Karsi, composed of fans from the Asian side of Istanbul, joined ultrAslan. ultrAslan continued their action against the president: now they were angry at him for having left Ali Sami Yen Stadium and because of bad results of the football team.

In August 2004, Galatasaray participated in the prestigious Champions World Series tournament, and played against FC Porto in Giants Stadium, in New Jersey, (United States). For the occasion, an ultrAslan-USA banner was shown and this group also participates every year in New York's Turkish day parade.

For the 2004/2005 season, Galatasaray returned to Ali Sami Yen and celebrated its centenary. ultrAslan decided to suspend their protest against the board in a show of unity, and called Özhan Canaydin to the stands, calling him "Great President" for the first league match against Konyaspor. After several fights between Yürüyedur and the old stand leaders at the beginning of the season (during the Akçaabat Sebatspor and Malatyaspor games), notably about the possibility of Galatasaray ex-player Fatih Akyel's return, Yürüyedur left the Galatasaray stands for good. However, they are still loved by a majority of fans, who criticize the fact that old leaders act in their own interests, for example keeping the right to earn money from selling tickets, which they receive free, on the black market. In 2005, the local of ultrAslan-Europe was opened in Duisburg in Germany. The new ultrAslan-Kazakhstan section showed their banner the same year on Kazakhstan 0-6 Turkey game.

At the end of the season, internal problems appeared in ultrAslan in Turkey, after old stand leaders shouted against Galatasaray coach Gheorghe Hagi, and threatened fellow fans who disagreed. Hagi eventually resigned and most Galatasaray fans were unhappy with that.

In 2005/2006, ultrAslan renewed its protests against the Galatasaray administration, criticizing the board for "lies" about the construction of the a stadium, the controversial departure of Franck Ribery, the use of Galatasaray's island, the transfers of new players, their responsibility in Hagi's departure and their general incapacity to manage the club efficiently and profitably. They chose, however, not to be violent: they only showed banners about the board's lies on the first league game against Konyaspor, and shook white handkerchiefs as a protest in the next home game against Malatyaspor.

After Galatasaray's shocking elimination by Tromso IL in the UEFA Cup, the whole stadium shouted "Board, resign!" but nothing changed. Some criticize the fact that ultrAslan leaders limit their protests against the board because of their obedience to the old stand leaders, who are financially assisted by the board. Meanwhile, ultrAslan started to organize tifos again. Two of their most active sections, Sultans and Karsi, organized 100% hand-made tifos for matches against Fenerbahçe and Besiktas. ultrAslan is trying more and more to create all their tifos and banners by hand, instead of paying for industrial fabrication.

The group celebrated its 5th anniversary on 17 February 2006, with a big party in a famous nightclub in Istanbul. Today, ultrAslan has sections all around the world: some have already a website, some do not. Today, ultrAslan, with its thousands of members, is more of a big structure including several groups under the same name, than a real group. ultrAslan has been led since 2002 by Alpaslan Dikmen.


Official website of ultrAslan: www.ultraslan.com

ultrAslan

Posts : 6
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Location : Turkey

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Re: Galatasaray S.K

Post by ultrAslan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:10 pm

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ultrAslan

Posts : 6
Join date : 2009-08-03
Location : Turkey

View user profile http://www.ultrAslan10.com

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