For those living in this ‘village’,
By those living in this ‘village’…

A group of people who were tired of the city life and dreamed of a life intermingled with nature started living in Zekeriyaköy at the end of the 1990s. This area with its back up against a forest provided the spaciousness and richness that would allow them a life in which they could set aside time for themselves and their friends. In fact it still does. But getting away from the bustle of the city center was not enough to reach the high standards they had dreamed of for life.

At first the Zekeriyaköy residents became actors giving direction to the physical and social aspect of their lives through the Zekeriyaköy Homes Business Cooperative. Members of this cooperative who were interested in tennis formed a tennis group. A handful of people who believed in the contribution of sports to individual and social development raised money among themselves and undertook to maintain and repair existing tennis courts through a contractor.

Members of the ‘Tennis lovers’ group were enthusiastic to expand the area of impact of their operations and make it sustainable. Then on June 30, 2009 they founded the Zekeriyaköy Sports Club and laid the foundation of the enterprise that would improve their lives and their children’s lives. The founding group, which also completed a code of conduct, was comprised of Ahmet Burak Anişoğlu, Mustafa Cengiz Aydın, Mehmet Ayhan, Hikmet Çetin Çakmakçı, Kemal Erdem, Ahmet Fehmi Gürcan, Osman Özcan, Murat Sarper and Nilgün Yamaner. The club, which started operations in a room at the cooperative building, rented its space for 3 years initially and then for 10 years.

Since the Zekeriyaköy Sports Club was completely established by civilian initiative in response to need, it is one of a kind rarely seen in Turkey.
The Board of Directors Chairman Burçin Karmercan, elected in 2011, describes those days as follows: “There was no space, no court and no members to speak of then, only the dream to provide sports and social benefit to people. For ourselves, our children and our neighbors. This space, to which we have brought national club quality, used to be a swamp back then and we used to sink into it with our boots. This is why it was nice to do sports here, spend time together, compete, rest and have something to eat and drink. With this club that we had built with our own hands and our own values we developed a strong emotional bond between us. This bond spreads to everyone who enters this place and embraces them with a sense of belonging.”