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Ladies of Besiktas: A dismantling of male hegemony at Inönü Stadium

Founded by four friends in 2006, the fan group Ladies of Besiktas are supporters of one of the largest football clubs in Turkey, with hundreds of active members and representatives in almost all Turkish cities as well as in Germany and Japan. On their official Facebook page their mission is listed as reconciling the three seemingly contradictory concepts of ‘women’, ‘football’ and ‘fandom’ in Turkey. Their main fight is directed against the gender inequality and violence inside the stadia. They march into Besiktas’s Inönü Stadium dressed in identical black and white scarves and jackets and blow whistles to mute the male fans who use foul language. This article will link the emergence of the fan group Ladies of Besiktas to the political changes in the first half of the 20th century in Turkey and elaborate on its effect on the disruption of gender norms.