Will Wesley Sneijder stay at Galatasaray? That ‘s the question that keeps Gala-fans and Sneijder followers busy right now. One of them is Amsterdam-based Yordi Yamali (1986). He just published a very original book, titled: Wesley in Turkey, the letters. “I will be relieved as soon as January is over and Sneijder is still in Istanbul.”
Hi Yordi, what is your book about?
“I started my book when Wesley signed up for Galatasaray. My book is about Wesley’s adventures in Turkey, the Turkish Football Assocation and all related topics. I discuss historical facts, combined with actual news related to Galatasaray and Wesley Sneijder.”
How did you come up with the idea?
“First of all, I’m a supporter of Ajax Amsterdam. As soon as Wesley left Ajax I stopped following him since he signed the Galaticos in Madrid. Wesley made Inter Milan champions of Europe in 2010. As soon as Galatasaray was linked to Wesley Sneijder, I started following him again, as well as his wife Yolanthe. Since I have Turkish roots and Galatasaray is my favorite clubs besides Ajax, I see Wesley playing again on weekly basis. Wesley never let me down as Ajax, Gala-fanatic and Dutch squad supporter.”
In the book you respond to letters written to you by a mix of known and lesser known (sports)writers. How did you come up with the concept of writing letters?
“To be honest, this concept was introduced by Özcan Akyol (@ozcanakyol) who I contacted during the start-up phase of my website. My initial tought was to write blogs about Wesley in Turkey, including the translation of Turkish articles about Sneijder. Özcan is a well know writer/journalist and sent me his input for my blog in ‘letter-form’. I received positive feedback about this concept and so the concept was born.”
How did you choose the people who wrote letters to you?
“It is a nice mix of already famous writers, such as Özcan Akyol and Sjoerd Mossou, and lesser known bloggers. I chose the people based on their knowledge about football and the quality of the Twitter accounts.”
The book cover is pretty cool also. Tell us about it!
“The cover is created by Jordi te Braak (www.pixelkaiju.com), for which I’m very thankful. The book is yellow-red (mix between the colours of Gala and the Dutch national team) and on the cover you see an animation of Sneijder, with a silhouette of the two pillar of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.”
How important is Twitter to you?
“Very important. As I explained above, I contacted all the writers via Twitter. Twitter keeps me up to date and it is easy to get in contact with a lot of people from around the world.”
You published the book yourself… why? Did you talk to publishers?
“No, to be honest I never spoke to a publisher. As unknown, online writer it is really hard to get in successful contact with publishers. Inspired by the book of @doingthe116, I decided to publish the book on my own initiative.”
What is your writing background?
“I don’t have a rich background of writing. However, I like to express my opinion (not only related to football) online and when Wesley joined my favorite club, I started writing about his adventures in Turkey, with the objective of creating a link between my Dutch friends and the Turkish football competition.”
What is your main profession right now / What is your education?
“After I graduated high school, I moved back from the Netherlands to Turkey, where I played football as a profession in Konya (Konyaspor). I’m currently working at the Finance department within my dad’s company (A.H. Duynker electric services) here in Diemen.”
What are your ambitions?
“My father is currently thinking about moving back to Turkey. My ambition is to succeed him and take over the company where I currently work for. Football related, it is my ambition to win the title with my own Football team, Diemen 3, for the second year in a row. Furthermore, I would like to expand my work on my own website, www.yordiyamali.com .”
Is there a next project coming up?
“Thanks for asking, what a coincidence. Today, I launched a ‘cross-blog’ with @lionelstute, in which we dicuss our shared passion, the United Kingdom. The name of the project is Tea Time. Please have a look at http://yordiyamali.com/2015/01/10/tea-time-de-introductie/. I hope to get involved in more nice projects like these.”
Let’s talk football a bit. Why are you a Gala-fan?
“Simple answer: my father is Turkish and I have lived (and played football) in Turkey from 2003 until 2005. Gala is the biggest club in Turkey. The UltrAslan are the most loyal and loudest supporters in the world.”
How would you feel if Sneijder leaves Galatasaray?
“I would be very disappointed. Sneijder is a key-player of Gala at the moment and will be crucial for winning the title in 2015 again. I cannot imagine that he will leave Gala for Juve, but nothing is sure in the world of football. I will be relieved as soon as January is over and Sneijder is still in Istanbul.”
You play football yourself, at Diemen 3 in Amsterdam… same position as Wesley?
“Haha. I don’t play the same position as Wesley. If I’m not on the bench, I play as central striker. Although I have had some troubles scoring goals this season, I’m sure I will help my team to the title in 2015 again.”