In praise of Sükrü Uzuner

One day I bumped into this weblog, Tundra Tabloids. It’s run by some American expat who’s been living in Finland since the 1980s, and is a site which is “keeping tabs on the most outrageous happenings in the Middle East, Islamist extremism and Islamist hegemony in Scandinavia, and on the political correctness that allows them to flourish”.

Point taken? One of those Robert Spencer loving neocons/Zionists, who have a bad knowledge of European history and who have disstressedly concluded that the so-called clash of civilizations isn’t proceeding fast enough and are thus doing their own bit. Eurabia, dhimmis, the sinking west and all that raving. The blogosphere has seen many of them, believe me, and this Sikorski fellow seems to be their highest nasal in Finland – yet let me remind you that we don’t have that many, due to a simple fact that we don’t have many Muslims. Or any other foreigners either, for that matter.

This lack of cause and conflict makes our Islamophobes, nationalists and gene pool defenders of course rather frustrated and anxious – as it indeed does sound a little bit amusing to preach about “Islamist hegemony” if you live in a country where the religion in question has approx 40 000 believers, let alone how many of them make an ism out of it. If you ask me, it makes you sound like quite an idiot.

But then again, every man needs a hobby and to my personal delight the author of Tundra Tabloids is apparently pursuing his from Suolahti. That’s a town in Central Finland, about 50km north of Jyväskylä. It used to be an independent municipality but with 5000 inhabitants such made no sense in the long run, and so it was merged with its two neighbours, Äänekoski and Sumiainen (a village where my parents live, where I lived sixteen years and from where I’m posting right now, should you find that interesting) in January 2007.

I was born in Suolahti, and I can assure that it is a home to maybe four or five Muslims; in the last municipal election there were 19 non-EU foreign residents eligible to vote, and then there’s a kebab place anyway, so I guess the size of their population must be four, maybe even that five. I can’t tell how it stimulates Mr Sikorski’s counter-jihad, yet must anyhow concede that if there has ever been a hegemony caused by a Muslim immigrant in Central Finland then it all has started surely from Suolahti. We opened the gates and let in Sükrü Uzuner.

Sükrü Uzuner is a Finnish football player, born in Turkey, and ever since the early-90s he has had an absolute hegemony over the Central Finnish football scene. On and off the pitch, so to speak. He reminds me of Shefki Kuqi. He has got Shefki’s strength and inherent pervasiveness, but unfortunately only half of his skill, which is the reason why he hasn’t been blessed by an international career.

Sükrü is a great man, nevertheless. He started his Finnish career in Äänekosken Huima, like e.g. John Allen, the second coach of today’s TPS, but a story (as told by my mates, who I trust in this case, out of narrative purposes) has it that he was supposed to come first to Suolahden Urho – just before our cheeky neighbours snatched him. Huima played in the 2nd division at that time (now in the 3rd) and Sükrü’s next, most logical step was a transfer to JJK of Jyväskylä (then in the 1st division and now, after a painfully long 3rd-tier diaspora, back there).

Sükrü is a striker, and has alwas known how to score goals. That trait took him to play in Veikkausliiga – first for (now sadly deceased) FinnPa, then for HJK, later also for KTP and FC Hämeenlinna. I don’t know how many goals he scored in total but, praise the Lord, they were many. [Update: they were 15.] KTP he saved from relegation and Hämeenlinna he lifted to Veikkausliiga. HJK never really deserved him.

Now he’s back in Jyväskylä and, at least for the time being, has found a home in FCJ Blackbird, the city’s second best club coached by Nelu Petrescu – Tomi Petrescu’s father. As for his age, Sükrü is now more than 30 but certainly less than 40 [corrected, by ap], so personally I don’t see a quick end to his hegemony. In religious and political terms he, at least to my modest knowledge, is a somewhat secular foreign-born citizen, but football he has always taken very seriously. Mr Sikorski and the region’s other survivalists are advised not to leave their bunkers.


5 Responses

  1. Sükrü played 50 Veikkausliiga matches, scoring 15 goals, 9 of them during the first year, when he played for FinnPa and four of them during his 8 match spell in kotka. Not that bad career, as he did not play for the top teams (except the year in hjk, when he scored 2, and got the silver medal, as hjk finished second).

    Yeah, and he was born in 2.2.1969, in Istanbul, Turkey. making him 38 years old.

    Not that this is that relevant, but just wanted to correct. 😉

  2. Oops. I forgot to mention the source –
    -> liigapelaajat

  3. Thanks for this, I’ll get the facts straight. The internet can be harsh for legends.

    Would you happen to remember this one incident in Jyväskylä, a few years ago, when Sükrü protested a dubious referee decision by kicking the ball out of the Harju stadium? A brief ban to Sükrü, and a small fine to his club, for the lost football.

    I think it was a derby and his side JJK?

  4. I unfortunately don’t… although, it could’ve easily been JJK versus Huima, which is a sort-of-a-derby game?

    Or then, maybe the short-lived Jyväskylä United vs. JJK – and I recall that Sükrü played for JU.

    Still, just (sophisticated) guessing. Anyway, a funny incident.

  5. It was JJK vs Jyväskylä United (fka Säynätsalon Riento), latter a project of local restaurant keeper Isaac Hamdi and where Sükrü plaeyd (‘thou he was loaned to JJK in autumn to aid theit quest for promotion).

    If I can remember it right (I only visited the other derby) Sükrü got a red card and in anger kicked the ball away from the stadium. And to those of you who don’t know, Harju stadium is located on top of rather high hill. After the match (which might have ended 1-1 and then again might not) JJK sent a bill to United. It is possible that kicking the ball away earned him a second yellow and that sending the bill was only a humorous comment.

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