Fenerbahce Worldwide Turns One Year Old!
Fenerbahce Worldwide Turns One Year Old!
By Nathan L. Redd
Happy birthday, Fenerbahce Worldwide! On July 24, 2006, Fenerbahce Worldwide was launched by Nathan L. Redd as a website for the English-speaking Fenerbahce fan. Needless to say, I never dreamed the things that would happen as a result of this website.
Fenerbahce Worldwide was created by me, an American Fenerbahce fan whose Turkish was not very good. After the frustration of finding very little information on the club in English, I created Fenerbahce Worldwide because "I thought there must be at least one other person in this world who loves Fenerbahce but doesn't speak Turkish." I spoke a little Turkish when I started this website, but not very much. I could, however, read a little in Turkish and be able to translate the ideas. I began by doing that on July 24, 2006. The first "news" post I made was about the possibility of Fenerbahce signing Diego Lugano and the future of Nicholas Anelka.
When I started the website, I had no idea who was viewing my site, or if anyone at all was looking at it. I started receiving some comments and a few months later, I was very fortunate and thankful to have some of my work re-published on Ahmet Turgut's website, www.turkishsoccer.com. Along the way, I began writing my own articles about Fenerbahce, as well as the Turkish National Team. I was updating the site every day or two, still having no idea if anyone was really checking out the site.
In May 2007, I found a blog by a guy named Emre Kizilkaya who posted a research article about Fenerbahce, and I left a comment on his blog about it. Little did I know that Emre was a journalist for Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. A few days after I left a comment on his blog, Emre sent me a note to tell me that his chief news editor had seen my website and was writing an article about it in Hurriyet on 19 May, 2007. Five days later, another article appeared in Hurriyet about how I had become a Fenerbahce fan. After that article, I received thousands of e-mails from around the world. I also (thankfully) learned how to track traffic to my website. After the Hurriyet articles, I was invited to New York City to speak at the Fenerbahce USA annual celebration. This resulted in appearances on FB TV and Lig TV, as well as an interview on FB TV's "Mac Kac Kac." Fenerbahce Worldwide was then featured on the BBC, Zaman, Sabah, Spor Sitesi, Haberte.com, TurkishNY.com, FBUSA.org and many others, as well as an upcoming feature in Fenerbahce Magazine.
I have been honored and flattered by the attention this website has received. However, the thing that makes me the happiest is that I have received e-mails from other people around the world who are Fenerbahce fans but do not speak Turkish. I've had tens of thousands of visitors to the site in the last two months, and there as many non-Turks who visit the site as there are Turks. This is exactly why I started this website - for other fans who love Fenerbahce but do not speak Turkish.
My Turkish still isn't great, but it has improved tremendously in the last year and is getting better. However, my mission is to expand and glorify Fenerbahce in every way around the globe. This will never change, and I will use every media opportunity possible to show the glory of Fenerbahce. I have more media opportunities coming, and I am hoping to come to Turkiye this fall to fulfill some of these. I also have some big plans to expand Fenerbahce Worldwide in the coming months and give Fenerbahce fans more outlet to share their opinions about the club. I realize that I am a strange person - an American who loves this Turkish futbol club - but that has prompted many people to contact me and ask "why?" This has given me many opportunities to share about Fenerbahce, and my hope is that this has made others look into this club and follow them as well.
So, here we are, celebrating the first birthday of Fenerbahce Worldwide. My hope is that year two will be even bigger and we will reach more fans around the globe. I have three people to thank - Ahmet Turgut from TurkishSoccer.com, Emre Kizilkaya from Hurriyet, and Osman Mehter from Fenerbahce USA. Without these three people, none of the afore-mentioned opportunities would have ever happened. Not bad for a guy who has never attended a Fenerbahce game in person, I guess. Hopefully that will change later this year. Here is the archive for the first few posts that ever appeared on Fenerbahce Worldwide: http://fenerbahceworldwide.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_archive.html