Istanbul United

All over the world we can witness acts of civil disobedience against the ruling powers these days. The groups of protesters often consist of a wide range of interest groups.


At times these alliances are able to bridge their deeply rooted conflicts in order to unite for a common cause.

During the current protests in Turkey such an alliance formed out of the most unlikely parties.
For years fans of the 3 main football clubs in Istanbul (Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas), have been known all over Europe for their unconditional support of their teams, and their mutual rivalry that often resulted in extremely violent clashes.

The current protest movement in Turkey originated in order to protect Gezi park in Istanbul against demolition. It soon became a protest movement against the ruling AK party and prime minister Erdogan. The ruthless dealings of the police against the peaceful protesters sparked a nation wide movement uniting environmentalists, political activists from all political spectrums, ordinary citizens and football ultras.

Then something remarkable happened: during the demonstrations fans of the competing football teams united for a common cause for the first time ever. The football ultras now fight side by side against the police and use their experience with clashes to help the protesters against tear gas and to build barricades.

Trailer Istanbul United

The documentary gives an insight into the protest culture of football fans in Istanbul during the protests last summer in Turkey. It shows the reasons for their anger, which are often similar to the reasons of the ordinary protesters.

Launch of the documentary in Turkey at the Istanbul Film Festival
on April 12, 2014, Atlas Cinema, 1:30 pm

Director: Farid Eslam, Olli Waldhauer / Producer: Farid Eslam, Jan Krüger, Tina Schöpkewitz, Olli Waldhauer, Bilge Elif Turhan / Production Co.: Nippes Yard Productions, Mind Riot Media, Port-Au-Prince, Taskovski, VOX Pictures / Germany / 2014 / DCP / Colour / English; Turkish s.t.

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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