Skip to main content

Top European footballer with eye on Turkish roots

German-born footballer Ilkay Gundogan keeps ties to parents' home town in Turkey

Despite being born and raised in Germany, Premier League footballer Ilkay Gundogan has formed a strong bond with his parents’ home town in northwest Turkey.
The Manchester City footballer has become heavily involved in supporting young players and amateur clubs in Dursunbey, a district around 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the Marmara coast.
Gundogan, 26, was signed from Borussia Dortmund last summer and reportedly earns the equivalent of $150,000 a week.
He has used his wealth to provide footballs, training equipment and sportswear for clubs in the Dursunbey area -- even paying an estimated 500,000 Turkish liras ($141,000) for a building to house facilities for Dursunbey Belediyespor players.
“He has been supporting our club for the past six years,” Chairman Yusuf Turhan said. “He financially contributed to the football stadium’s renewal in Dursunbey.”
As a result of his generosity, the club are naming the new stadium after Gundogan. Beside it will sit a two-storey building paid for by Gundogan that will house dressing rooms, showers, a cafeteria and sleeping accommodation for visiting teams.
According to Turhan, the help from the German international, who was born and raised in Gelsenkirchen, has already helped several young players from the district move on to the youth sides of professional clubs.
“Two of our footballers are playing for Bursaspor under 17s and four more are playing in Balikesirspor’s youth set up, thanks to Ilkay’s support,” he said.
Gundogan usually visits his parents’ home town every summer, when he tries to find the time to offer advice and tips to local players. He has also invited youngsters to the U.K. to see the facilities on offer at Manchester City, one of Europe’s richest clubs.
Ahmet Edip Ugur, the mayor of Balikesir province, said the players and training staff of the winners of this season’s provincial amateur cup will travel to England for a week as Gundogan’s guests.
“We are thankful to Ilkay for giving such big support to our young footballers,” Ugur said.
Reporting by Ramazan Atam; Writing by Satuk Bugra Kutlugun


Popular posts from this blog

International Schools in Turkey

You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in Turkey with fee information. It includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools and you will find the right school to prepare for International Baccalaureate, and other diploma in Turkey. Some schools will follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programs while others are regulated under the French, Italian or German education system.

Education in Turkey
Education in Turkey consists of a network of primary and secondary schools financed and operated by the state. Schooling is free and compulsory for 12 years, commonly referred to as "4+4+4". This means 4 years primary education (lst level), 4 years primary education (2nd level) and 4 years secondary education. Students are generally taught in Turkish. Children begin their primary education in the first month of September following their sixth birthday. A primary education diploma is awarded at …

culture for marriage in Turkey

The fascinating country of Turkey has a rich culture of wedding traditions, which vary throughout its cities, provinces and villages. In the major cities many couples have also embraced a mix of Western traditions. “Turks” love to celebrate with delicious food, music and lots of dancing into the early hours.
Historical Marriage Arrangements
In the past there were several different kinds of marriages, especially in the rural areas. It was the custom to pay a dowry to the bride’s family. Occasionally, a family with a son and daughter of marriageable age would marry into another family with a son and daughter, therefore cancelling out the need for a dowry.
In times past, a marriage was arranged in the case of the death of a brother, where the widowed sister-in law was wed with a single or widower brother-in law (Levirat). Similarly, it was also possible for a sister to be married to a deceased sister’s husband (Sororat). This was practiced in order to keep th…

top 10 Beautiful village in turkey

Filled with stunning natural beauty, from tranquil beaches to dramatic mountains, and an array of well-preserved architecture, Turkey is one of the most extraordinary countries to visit. Here we list the 10 unmissable cities and towns in the country.


Located in northern Turkey, the small city of Amasya is dramatically situated in a narrow valley on the banks of the Yeşilırmak river, against a backdrop of rocky mountains. Amasya is said to be the place where one of the most famous tales of Turkish folklore, Ferhat and Şirin, takes place. According to legend, Ferhat was in love with Şirin, a beautiful princess, and dug tunnels beneath the mountains to bring water to her father’s palace so he could win his favor. Even today, the stunning landscape of the town is perfectly suited to the romantic tale. Above the town lie several tombs cut into the face of the rock, while the town itself is filled with beautiful Ottoman style houses and antique bridges.


A small jewel of an …