There are some kind of people which is closer to you than a real family member. Even you don't have a blood tie, they could make you feel like they are your real family. In this part i would like to introduce you Ayhan Erman, the Turkish man who i've always felt like he is my own grandfather, and of course his magnificent story of football...
Ayhan Erman was born in 1928 at Burdur. His father was Ibrahim Münir who was a soldier and his mother was Fatme Kevser. When Ibrahim died, Erman family came to Istanbul but they were too poor. One day, Sofia and her husband Hikmet visited Kevser, they saw their situation and asked her if she accept to raise one of her children. Kevser accepted and Ayhan wanted to go with them. As Sofia told before, Ayhan only came with a basket full of empty bottles which he played as toys.
When Ayhan was young he started to work in a pharmacy but he always had a pleasure to play football and started his career in Fenerbahçe between the years 1948-1952.
After 1952, he transfered to Sariyer and played here until 1964. He was a right back, defense player.
The photograph below is from the match between Taksim and Sariyer, dated to 13.11.1960. You can see Ayhan in Sariyer uniform and next to him Rıza Küçükerol, goalkeeper of Sarıer. The match result was 2-0, won by Sariyer.
In 1964, even he didn't play at that match, The Central Board of Penalty punished him for 6 months by mistake. After this year he stopped playing and continued his career by being a coach. Of course his first team was Sariyer, and he coached Sariyer for 13 years. His dream was to make Sariyer, the 4th biggest club of Istanbul, and because of this dream he worked as volunteer, never has been paid.
For Ayhan Erman, the youth setup of a team was more important than transfers. He always worked in this way, and he created a Football Club from Sariyer. From the youth setup he trained many important names such as, Cemil Turan ( Fenerbahce ), Serdar Gücüyener (Galatasaray ) ...etc.
In 1970, Ayhan Erman went to a course for coaching in Europe but when he returned he learnt that his team was dropped from 1st League. In the new season, he worked hard and Sariyer became champion and became a team of 1st League again. In 1977, Ayhan Erman resigned from his team, because Sariyer couldn't promote to Super League. Then he coached many teams, such as Beykozspor ( 1977-1978 ), Galata (1978-1979 ), Turkish Deaf & Mute Football Club ( 1979 ), Besiktas Groundwork Coaching ( 1980 -1981 ). In 1981-1982 he turned back to Sariyer, and promoted the team to Super League. In 1984 he resigned.
A football player has been punished by mistake
A coach who doesn't take any money from his club : Ayhan Erman...
Ayhan Erman was very famous in Sariyer. It was an interesting coincidence that Ayhans mother Kevser, was the neighbour of Ashen and my father Stavros. They knew each other before Stavros Vafiadis get married with Theodora. In fact, it was impossible to not know Ayhan Erman if you were living in Sariyer.
My mother Theodora grew up together with Sofia, Hikmet and Ayhan. It was a second family for Theodora in Turkey. The childhood of her passed with Ayhan, and mine as well.
Ayhan Erman never has been paid by Sariyer Football Club, he had a boutique in Sariyer and had one store for sports stuff. I remember when i was a child together with him, we went to his store and then travel around Sariyer with his Mustang. One day we went to watch the match between Sariyer-Bakirköy, that was the first day that i watched a real match. He always warned me as : If you lost in Sariyer, don't panic, just find someone and tell that you are the grandson of Ayhan Erman...
Together with Stavro, Theodora, Sofia and Ayhan we had many good times. We have travelled a lot, in Turkey and in Greece. Whenever i visit, Bursa, Akçay, Tekirdag, Ankara i remember those good times... Ayhan always had surprises for me, toys, chocolates...etc that i could easily say that i had a perfect childhood because of him. As a man of football, he only couldn't change my favourite team. He always wanted from me to be a fan of Fenerbahçe but i was always a fan of Besiktas ( because of the tradition in family ).
He had memories with Rıdvan Dilmen and Rıza Çalımbay
( famous football players from Fenerbahce and Besiktas ) . In the past we've also heard those memories from Rıdvan on Tv.
On the photograph below you can see Ayhan Erman with Rıza Çalımbay.
Coaching Sariyer for over 12 years
Today i really feel sorry that there are not so many information about Ayhan Erman on internet, only a Wikipedia page which is not enough. This writing about him was always my dream, and i feel like now i can thank him for everything by this way.
Ayhan Erman was more than a family member for me. I called him ' Dede' which means grandfather. My friends always asked me ' why do you have three grandfathers ? '. It was hard to explain the relation that comes by love when i was a child. But now when i say ' Dede' they understand who i am talking about.
Rest in peace Ayhan Erman. You will never be forgotten and your memories will always be told in the future...
* The newspaper articles have been taken from :
** Written according to memories that told by Ayhan Erman and Sofia Cakiroglu.
Written by : 2mi3, August 2018