Britain’s ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore celebrates Beşiktaş Super League title

A surprise fan joined in the celebrations on Sunday when Turkish football club Beşiktaş were crowned Super League champions – their first title win in seven years.

Richard Moore, the UK ambassador to Turkey, saw Beşiktaş beat Osmanlıspor 3-1 at the club’s new Vodafone Arena ground in Istanbul, earning them the league title.

Upon his return to Ankara, Moore hung a huge Beşiktaş flag outside his residence and posted a picture of him celebrating on Twitter.

The ambassador told Turkish media that he became a Beşiktaş supporter during his first posting to Turkey, as a junior diplomat between 1990 and 1992. At the time, the club’s manager was a Briton, Gordon Milne, who led the Black Eagles to numerous trophies and titles during his seven-year spell in charge (1987-1994).

L-R: Gordon Milne, Suleyman Seba & Riza Calimbay
L-R: Gordon Milne, chairman Suleyman Seba & player Riza Calimbay

Beşiktaş – Turkey’s oldest football club – continues its strong associations with Britain through telecoms giant Vodafone, which has naming rights for the club’s new stadium. The British ambassador was among the special guests at the opening ceremony last month, along with Gordon Milne.

Following Sunday’s win, Ambassador Moore tweeted in both English and Turkish that his terms serving in Turkey have been a lucky omen for the Black Eagles winning league titles:

“#Besiktas supporter .@UKAmbRichard serves in Turkey 1990, 91, 92, 2014, 15 and 16. @Besiktas wins championship 1990, 91, 92, 2016! 4 out of 6… Just saying!”

The coincidence was not lost on fellow Beşiktaş fans who tweeted back that the ambassador should not be allowed to leave Turkey. Moore has been serving as the British ambassador to Ankara since January 2014.

Main photo: Twitter/@UKAmbRichard