Melih Esen Cengiz


25 Eylül 2014 // AUTHOR:

Author: Melih Esen Cengiz

“The book is dedicated to the football players from all nations who lost their lives in the First World War ”


The summer 1914. The Ottoman Empire right after the Balkan Wars of 1912/3. Two  German warships, the Goeben and the Breslau  take a refuge in Turkish waters after fleeing the Mediterranean Fleet  of The British Royal Navy and  anchor in İstanbul harbour.

Three football teams ; the Navy team of the Goeben, the local Istanbul team  Fenerbahçe and the Odessa Sports Club,the team of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Fenerbahçe first plays against Goeben and then travels to Russia to confront Odessa.

Soon after the Turkish Navy, which had by then taken over the Goeben as its flagship now renamed the Yavuz, shells Odessa.

Hence Turkey is at war.

The period starting in the summer of 1914  concludes with the collapse of the Imperial Kaiser’s regime in Germany, the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire .The post war period witnesses  the birth of the Weimar Republic in Germany, the foundation of the Turkish Republic in Turkey and the formation of Soviet of Socialist Republics in the former Russian Empire territories.


A long story of young people, their dreams, loves and sacrifices .

One of the German players falls in love with a Turkish girl and they exchange love letters. It was love at first sight under the veil.

All the players easily establish strong friendly ties  with each other in Istanbul and Odessa.

In  the war all the teams lose some of their players and the young people experience the dark side of fate .

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