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The Passion: Football and the Story of Modern Turkey is out now!

Available from Amazon, Book Depository (who provide free shipping to anywhere in the world), Waterstones, the publisher I.B.Tauris, and the Guardian and Telegraph bookshops.

Turkey is a nation obsessed with football. From the flares which cover the stadium with multi-coloured smoke and often bring play to a halt, to the ultras who conduct the ‘walls of sound’ at matches, Turkish football has always been an awesome spectacle. And yet, in this politically fraught country, caught between the Middle East and the West, football has also always been so much more. From the fan groups resisting the government in the streets and stands, to ambitious politicians embroiling clubs in Machiavellian shenanigans, football in Turkey is a site of power, anger, and resistance.

Journalist and football obsessive Patrick Keddie takes us on a wild journey through Turkey’s role in the world’s most popular game. He travels from the streets of Istanbul, where fans dodge tear gas and water cannons, to the plains of Anatolia, where women are fighting for their rights to wear shorts and play sports. He meets a gay referee facing death threats, Syrian footballers trying to piece together their shattered dreams, and Kurdish teams struggling to play football amid war. The Passion also tells the story of the biggest match-fixing scandal in European football, and sketches its murky connections to the country’s leadership. In doing so he lifts the lid on a rarely glimpsed side of modern Turkey.

Funny, touching and beautifully observed, this is the story of Turkey as we have never seen it before.

Patrick Keddie takes us inside the unceasing Turkish football conversation. The game turns out to be a great device to explain this little understood, football-mad country and its football-mad ruler (who recently banned the foreign word “arena”, forcing many Turkish stadiums to be renamed). The Passion is an energetically researched history of Turkey through football.
— Simon Kuper, Financial Times columnist and author of Football Against the Enemy
I found The Passion a captivating account of modern Turkey, its passions and frustrations; perhaps it won’t make you fall in love with Turkish football, but it will help you see why it is so central in understanding Turkey’s soul.
— Kaya Genc, author of Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey