“My navigation took me to Turkey”

Updated: August 13, 2015
With Andreas Beck SPOX greeted a new columnists. After years in the Bundesliga the 28 year old moved to the Turkish tradionclub Besiktas over the summer from 1899 Hoffenheim. In his first column, Beck explained his reasons to leave the Bundesliga and talks about his first few days in Istanbul.

A cordial Merhaba from Istanbul, my dear friend and colleague Roberto Hilbert once said hello from Istanbul at this point. I will replace Roberto now, not only on the right touchline of Besiktas, but also as a columnist from Istanbul for the colleagues of SPOX. I am happy that I am able to share with you of my experiences and impressions of this wonderful city and this great club at this point. Roberto once told me that he sometimes misses the madness of Istanbul, in Germany. I have only just returned from our training camp, which lasted almost four weeks, for only a few days in the city. But I can absolutely understand Roberto’s thoughts. I have previously lived in Heidelberg, a beautiful city, before I lived in Stuttgart, but you can not compare these cities to Istanbul. Istanbul is a vibrant metropolis.

I’m trying to develop a feel for everything: for the city, the traffic, everything. So I take my time with finding the proper accommodation. We train on the Asian side of the city, but it attracts me to more to live in the European side of the city, even if it takes at least half an hour’s drive to get to the training every day. Colleagues like Jose Sosa or Ramon Motta, but also our coach live on the European side of the city. What I can already say is that the quality of life is extremely high here.

But even the sporting aspect is very special: If you play for Besiktas, you can feel that you are playing for a large, long-established club. The acceptance, attention, enjoying the club is extraordinary and that is what has attracted me. It’s a new challenge, because here it isn’t so that we compete for titles, no, we need to win the title. One should not misunderstand: TSG Hoffenheim is a very ambitious club but Besiktas need to dominate all of their games, you have the absolute obligation to win every game. The goals and dreams are big, so as a player you are here with the duty always be at a high level both physically and mentally. We formulate our goals sustainably ambitious, because here we want to achieve something. Besiktas thirsts for titles, after victories in the Derby matches, which are of great importance here. Sorry, no Derbies were won in the last two seasons, so we are required to do so this season.

It has not escaped me that Turkish clubs have launched a major transfer offensive as of late. Fenerbahce have signed Robin van Persie and Nani, Galatasaray signed Lukas Podolski. Also Besiktas and other clubs made noteworthy signings. The league is completely competitive at the top and it is a very tough battle and a challenging task for all. It is currently a really good time to be a fan of a Turkish club. I’m often asked why I have taken this step to Turkey. Actually, I am a rational thinker, but in this case it was a gut decision, because from the start I had a good feeling. I played almost ten years in the Bundesliga, and also enjoyed the time, but it was time for something new, even if I had not developed the absolute will to leave Hoffenheim.

But I can say that it suddenly went relatively quickly, between the first contact and the actual transfer there was not a lot of time. I had gathered information from Roberto (Hilbert) and his former interpreter, but I also had a long talk with Tayfun Korkut about a possible move to Turkey before ultimately making my decision to come here. On top of that I have many friends in Germany who are Besiktas fans. All of them told only positive things about the club. Therefore, the decision for me to go through with this thing came quite quickly. And so far I haven’t regretted it for a second, I feel really, really well. Sportively and personally. What has facilitated my start here tremendously, is that many players speak German. The integration can simply be characterized as faster. Especially with almost every other form of communication being in English which works superbly. Of course, I also started to learn Turkish – basic stuff like “Hosgeldiniz,” meaning “Welcome”, are things I already have down. I’m trying to teach myself the language itself, I work every day for atleast half an hour to an hour, because it is useful to know Turkish for the one or the other app and my navigation device in the car is also in Turkish, so I’m learning the directions and instructions. It is very important “Kartal Gol Gol Gol”, the battle cry of our fans … I am looking forward to when our stadium is ready and the Arena then trembles with “Kartal Gol Gol Gol”.

Many greetings

Your Andi

Andreas Beck, born on 13 March 1987 in Kemerovo (Russia), went through all the youth teams of the DFB and played from 2009 nine times for the national team. Beck played over 200 times in the Bundesliga and in 2007 with the VfB Stuttgart German Masters. A great success was also the European Championship in 2009 with the U21 national team. After more than a decade in the Bundesliga Beck joined at the beginning of the season to Besiktas in Turkey.

Source: spox.com – (click for the original article in German)

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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