Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s sporting career has become part of his mythology, reinforcing his image as a salt-of-the-earth leader in tune with the masses. Over the last ten years, Turkish football has
experienced great change. It has become bigger and louder, more commercialised and polarised, entwined ever more with business and politics. So central has Erdoğan become to Turkish football that any account of the state of the game today would be bereft without a study of his role. And yet the game – and its obsessive, devoted fans – also show the limits of his power.