The 'National Jersey, National Pride' exhibition shows the long history of Turkish football.

The exhibition, “National Jersey, National Pride,” which began its trip in Istanbul's Dolmabahçe Museum, where it remained until the end of last weekend, is going to Kocaeli and Bursa next in its some 30-station route, and takes visitors on a  journey through the 85-year history of the Turkish National football team.

The exhibition also shows football shirts of the past, which looked more like knitted pullovers, and were replaced by those made of  acrylic fibers and carried the logos of sportswear giants like Adidas and later, Nike.  At the exhibition visitors will be unable to view most of the original versions of the oldest football shirts, and will have to settle with replicas.

The documentation is much richer for the recent history, mostly thanks to Yavuz Şenol, a former staff manager at the Turkish Football Federation. When the Federation came up with the idea, it was sure that it could be only realized with Şenol's personal collection, which was the result of his 20-year efforts. While he humbly admits his efforts for the exhibition, he is hoping that a book of the nation's football history will be published soon.

“If a museum were to be opened in the future, that would be even better,” he says, adding that he will donate his collection in his if that happens. Even if it is not choc full of glories, the history Turkish football deserves it, with the sporting, economic, social and cultural evolution it nakedly displays, if nothing else.


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