On 17 February 2008 at 20:00, a coach decorated with yellow and red flags got on the way from N16. Seven members of our Board of Directors and forty three members were on board the bus. Attendees from the Board were Mehmet Mimoğlu, Metin Arslan, Nihat Gür, Faruk Zabcı, Ali Matur, Hakan Candaner and Erol Aydın. Amongst our members, there was Galatasaray FC UK footballers Ali Demir, Arif Yozcu ve Ozan Alkaya.
Even though it was the first time many of our members met, with the spirit of the Galatasaray community, everyone got on really well. Under the leadership of the Board, the whole journey had a highly positive ambiance.
We crossed the channel with a ferry from Dover to Calais. During the trip we watched Galatasaray’s unforgettable games and the road to the 2000 UEFA Cup and Super Cup victories. Following a seventeen hour trip, we arrived at Bordeaux at 14:00 local time. The coach dropped us off at the Burdigala hotel where Galatasaray footballers and management were staying. At the hotel, GSAUK Board Members met the GSAUK Turkey Correspondent Elif Yıldız and also Murat Yalçındağ from the G.S. Football Committee, and obtained and distributed the match tickets to our members. GSAUK members departed with the Management Committee for a tour of the town for later to meet up before the game.
The GSAUK Board met GS A.Ş. General Manager Adnan Sezgin and with the participation of our Turkey Correspondent Elif Yıldız had a brief meeting with the chairman Adnan Polat, Murat Yalçındağ and Daniel Banuh (Dano, a GS player from the 1950s). During the meeting Adnan Polat was informed of our Association’s activities and was invited to a planned ball in London. Even thought he could not commit to a date or attendance, he signalled that he will consider attending after the completion of the league race. The meeting ended on a positive note with a group photo which was also attended by Haldun Üstünel from the Galatasaray A.Ş. Management Committee.
GSAUK Board was also presented with the opportunity to give an interview on Galatasaray TV, which was used to introduce the committee and the association’s activities along with opinions on the Bordeaux game.
The Board carried on with the day at a café near the hotel with Daniel Banuh. Before leaving the hotel quarters, we again thanked Murat Yalçındağ for his kind efforts and expressed our wishes to see him amongst us in London for the planned ball.
While taking a walk in the city centre, GSAUK MC came across Micheal Skibbe. After talking about the game, photos were taken. It was then time to head to the stadium and our Board had the pleasure of watching the game in the section which was reserved to special invitees and included the likes of ex member of Galatasaray A.Ş. Management Committee Abdularahim Albayrak, ex Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz and ex footballer Necati Ateş.
Following the goalless draw, we got on the road for the return trip at midnight. At the beginning of the journey, Our Chairman Mehmet Mimoğlu gave a brief summary of the trip and also gave feedback on the meeting with Adnan Polat. Having had a tiring day, most people slept through the night until nine in the morning. During the last couple of hours in France, before boarding the ferry, Nihar Gür from the MC talked about the trip and the Association’s current activities and the plans for the future. Other MC members took turns to share their thoughts. Most of the travelling members also shared their opinions and had positive things to say about the trip and our association.
The coach arrived at the final destination, Green Lanes, at 16:00.