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Assyriska, Anatolians in Swedish football

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Assyriska, Anatolians in Swedish football

Nov-15-2012 at 10:15 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Last edited on 11/15/2012 at 10:17 PM (UTC3 Assyria)
Assyriska chairman Nail Yoken says he cannot stay away from Turkey.
Assyriska, Anatolians in Swedish football
by Vercihan Ziflioğlu.
Istanbul - Hürriyet Daily News, November 01, 2012.
(Atour archive)

The chairman of “Sweden’s Anatolian football team” Assyriska, Nail Yoken, has expressed his desire that a similar team of Assyrians could be formed in Turkey.

Founded by ethnic refugees from Turkey in 1971, Assyriska, which is currently in the Superettan - the second-tier division in Swedish football - is seen by many as the national team of Assyrians and Syriacs worldwide. Yoken said a similar club had originally been formed in the southeastern Turkish province of Mardin, under the name Midsan, but added that it could only survive for six years.

“The 1980s were turbulent years for Turkey in terms of politics,” Yoken told the Hürriyet Daily News. “We were struggling for our existence in eastern Turkey with our Assyrian identity and struggled to stay as a unit. In the end the team disbanded.”

Yoken moved to Sweden and quickly became a part of the Södertalje-based Assyriska, one of the two teams sharing a similar fate in Turkey, along with Syrianska.

“The Swedish Football Federation gave us all opportunities, but one still asks why we could not do that in our own country,” Yoken said. “How I wish Assyriska could play in Midyat.”

He said the team boasted 500 athletes in its youth system, with the majority of them coming from Assyrian families that migrated from Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The rest of the players consist of Turks, Kurds, Arabs and Swedes.

“We are an Anatolian team in Sweden. The communication between our players is very good,” Yoken said.

“I cannot stay away from Turkey. But we were forced to leave Turkey back then. Of course we would like to return, but not under the current conditions
The team has trained a number of important players for Swedish football, including former Ajax and Twente ace Kennedy Bakırcıoğlu, a player born to a family that migrated from Turkey in early 1970s, as well as FC Köln forward Mikael Ishak, who was signed by the German club earlier this year.

“We aim to raise more talented players,” Yoken said.

During his four-year spell as club chairman, Assyriska has come to Turkey on a number of occasions for training camps, but when asked whether Assyriska or another team with the same idea could be formed in Turkey, Yoken is not positive.

“I cannot stay away from Turkey. But we were forced to leave Turkey back then. Of course we would like to return, but not under the current conditions,” he said.

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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