Italy and Turkey, a century of rivalry. And after the Erdogan-Von der Leyen-Draghi case, Uefa designates Frappart | First page

Italy and Turkey, a century of rivalry. And after the Erdogan-Von der Leyen-Draghi case, Uefa designates Frappart | First page
Italy and Turkey, a century of rivalry. And after the Erdogan-Von der Leyen-Draghi case, Uefa designates Frappart | First page

Italy-Turkey, vernissage of the traveling European in time of Covid, is an opportunity to refresh our memory on the first Turkish diplomatic steps in Europe, on an epochal Italian-Turkish battle and on an Italian coach who made his fortune on the Dardanelles, Sandro Puppo.

FROM THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE TO THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY – Turkey has its roots in history far beyond the Byzantine Empire. Born at the end of the 13th century in Anatolia, with 1453 the Ottoman Empire conquers Constantinople and puts an end to the Byzantine Empire and from there it proceeds in a progressive expansion that leads it to be one of the largest empires. The Republic of Turkey was born following official recognition after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, once the Ottoman Empire – ally of the Central Powers – collapsed, defeated by the First World War. First President of the Republic of Turkey is Mustafa “Atatűrk” Kemal. Neutral during the Second World War, in February 1945 he sided with the Allies and became a member of the United Nations.

After the war, the Truman Doctrine attracts the Republic of Turkey to the West, so much so that in 1952 Turkey becomes a member of NATO. It is with the 60s of the twentieth century, however, that Turkey tightens ever greater relations with Europe, so much so that on 12 September 1963 the Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community signed the Ankara Agreement, an agreement of association whose purpose is to promote and strengthen trade and economic relations between the parties. In short, it is the first concrete step towards the establishment of a customs union which will be ratified in 1995, when Turkey had already begun the process of joining the European Union. To date, the application for membership of the European Union is still hanging on to negotiations that are proceeding very slowly, amid geopolitical, economic and humanitarian issues that are certainly not trivial. Following the diplomatic incident involving President Von der Leyen visiting Ankara last April and the high number of femicides registered in Turkey, the Gariwo Foundation launched the idea for UEFA to referee the match inaugural Italy-Turkey to an all-female referee trio. It is at this time the news that UEFA has designated French Stéphanie Frappart as the “fourth official”, former referee of the 2019 European Super Cup final and the first woman to referee a Champions League match.

The Turkish Football Federation was founded in the same year of birth of the Republic, 1923, and immediately became affiliated with FIFA; in 1962 he entered UEFA. The first competition for national teams in which Turkey participates as a member of UEFA are the qualifications for the European championship of 1964, an occasion in which it crosses Italy for the first time.

SANDRO PUPPO, AN ITALIAN IN TURKEY – The first important moment in the history of the Turkish national team saw an Italian on the bench. In 1952 the Turkish Football Federation called Sandro Puppo to lead the Turkish national team at the Olympic Games, former footballer among others of Venice and young coach. Puppo leads Turkey to the historic qualification for the Swiss World Cup in 1954, managing to eliminate Spain, a prestigious result that is perhaps the basis of the future signing of Puppo by Barcelona. The result is more prestigious than substance. Lost in Madrid 4 to 1, Turkey in Istanbul manages with a narrow 1 to 0 in their favor to put things back evenly. The play-off is played in Rome 3 days after the match in Istanbul, it ends 2 to 2 after extra time. The Turkish national team is rewarded by the toss of the coin that is worth the historic qualification. And thus participates in the final phase, contrary to what he did 4 years earlier, when after winning the first qualifying match with Syria he did not play against Austria and therefore gave up the qualification. In Switzerland in 1954 the Puppo national team is seeded in the group with West Germany and Hungary, the future finalists. Having lost the first match with the Germans, Turkey overwhelmed South Korea with goals, thus qualifying for the play-off, once again against West Germany. Herberger’s Germans do not give a chance to the Turks who are crashed 7 to 2 and leave Zurich and Switzerland. Puppo therefore leaves Turkey, but it will not be a farewell.

After a couple of seasons in Spain, Sandro Puppo becomes Juventus coach. The bianconeri will be lacking in satisfactions for two seasons, his Juventus will be remembered as the “Juventus of puppanti” because it is innervated by a large group of young hopes who will have their springboard in professional football during the years of Puppo. At the beginning of the 60s Puppo returned to Turkey, still coach of Beşiktaş and commissioner of the national team, without however succeeding in qualifying for the Chilean World Cup, the double defeat against the USSR was fatal. It is time for the second “goodbye” to the bench of the Turkish national team. Puppo in Turkey will come back two more times, interspersed, from 1963 to 1966 to try to qualify for the English World Cup, but without succeeding.

ITALY-TURKEY IN THE BATTLEFIELD – The twentieth century is a century of Italian-Turkish intersections. At the diplomatic level, the Sublime Porta had already sent its own ambassador to Rome in 1856. In the summer of 1911 we witness a bitter crisis between Germany and France, the cd. “Agadir coup”, which ends when the German government gets half of the French Congo and in return leaves Morocco to France. Thus the status quo in northern Africa is altered, allowing Italy to pass to Tripolitania. In 1911, Giolitti’s Italy then declared war on the Ottoman Empire to set out to conquer the African Ottoman territories of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.
It is the Libyan War, the conflict that made the hearts of young Italians beat so much at the time.
After the Italian ultimatum on the night of September 26th 1911, on the 29th the Duke of Abruzzi attacks two Turkish torpedo boats, on October 3rd the square of Tripoli is bombed and at noon on October 5th the Italian flag flies over Fort Sultania. Giolitti hastily declares the annexation of Tripolitania unilaterally, between Italian enthusiasm and Turkish resentment and beyond. It would be very interesting to analyze the very unfriendly reactions of the Austro-Hungarian ally, which we will not do here, it is enough to recall a passage from a Conrad memorial reported by Luigi Albertini: “(…) the question of Tripoli required the examination of measures soldiers necessary for the Danubian Monarchy ”. In reality, the Dual Monarchy did not see the Italian expansion in North Africa in a negative way because very soon – the Foreign Minister Aehrenthal believed at the time – in doing so it would have found itself in conflict with the other Mediterranean powers and therefore “forced to rely on allies and renounce other aspirations “. The reference to Trentino is clear. We well know, however, that this will not be the case. The conflict with the Ottoman Empire continued for about a year, after the annexation of Libya to the Kingdom of Italy also the whole Dodecanese was conquered by the Italian army before the cessation of hostilities on 15 October 1912 and the stipulation of the Treaty of Ouchy. With the Treaty of Ouchy it was agreed – among others – that the military and civil administration of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica would pass to Italy, while the Ottoman Empire would maintain juridical and religious sovereignty. The full possession of these territories will be recognized to Italy only in 1923 with the Treaty of Lausanne of which we have spoken above.

The Libyan War, as mentioned, in Italy also had great echo in the young world of football. In many cities Italian many sports and football clubs in those months arise and give themselves names that evoke the Libyan enterprise. Italian football, to put it in the words of the journalist Franco Scarioni, “is futurist by nature” and as we know it will certainly play a not secondary role in the Italian interventionist drive in the First World War.

ITALY-TURKEY IN THE FOOTBALL FIELD – Half a century and two World Wars after the world is completely different. Different are also Italy and Turkey who find themselves facing each other, this time on a football field.
To qualify for the second edition of the Henry Delunay Cup, i 1964 European Championships, Italy also has to deal with Turkey. On 2 December 1962 in Bologna Italy and Turkey officially met for the first time in their history. Technical director of the Turks is not Sandro Puppo, he will be back a few months later, therefore the formation of Turkey is composed by the President of the football federation, Orhan Seref Apak, at the head of a commission made up of four members. The “front” coach is the Beşiktaş trainer, the Yugoslavian Spaijc. The Turkish federal president on the eve of the meeting with Italian journalists, if on the one hand he is very buttoned up about training and tactics, he is not so much about the hopes of having Puppo as soon as the new national commissioner, as can be read from the columns of La Print:
“(…) Sandro Puppo has fully satisfied us and after the international meeting on Sunday, we will contact him for his eventual return. (…). the post is currently vacant, waiting for an Italian to fill it definitively, I hope Puppo. “
The game has no history. Italy easily beats Turkey 6 to 0The star of the match was the Roma player from Tor Pignattara Alberto Orlando who made his debut with the blue shirt scoring 4 goals. The second leg will not be as smooth. In Ankara the Italy of “mondino” Fabbri will win 1 to 0 only thanks to a goal at the end of Sormani, a match that will see Vieri and Facchetti’s debut in blue.

(Alessandro Bassi is also on

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