Sinan Akdag, the third child of his family, the German system would deport his mother but they managed to stay in Germany at the last moment..Today, he is the star of German Ice Hockey National Team..
Sinan Akdag, the third child of his family, the German system would deport his mother but they managed to stay in Germany at the last moment..Today, he is the star of German National Ice Hockey Team..
Turkish born German National Ice Hockey Team player Sinan Akdag has a very interesting life story: His father comes to Germany in the 80’s as worker but could not get a residence permit and for her mother. He struggled to keep his wife in Germany due pregnancy rights in German law. However, the German Foreigners Branch decided to deport Sinan as he was in her mother’s womb during her 3rd pregnancy, but a court decision at the last moment entitled Sinan and his mother to stay in Germany.
Sinan Akdag whom Germans would’nt allow to stay in their country that day, represents today Germany in World Championships in Ice Hockey, one of the world’s most watched and spectacular sport attractions.
Sinan Akdag and his family : Most significant evidence of deformity in Germany’s integration system
NationalTurk Exclusive Interview – Sinan Akdag, the first German National Ice Hockey Team player of Turkish origin shines with his recent performances with Krefeld Pinguine in the German Ice hockey league and the German National Team internationally. Akdag made a splash at the World Ice Hockey Championship in May and gave his first and exclusive interview to NationalTurk.
The successful young talent has spoken sincerely about his future, American National Hockey League, the German-Turk society and the integration problems of Turks living in Germany and his interesting life story.
NationalTurk – We are more than pleased to receive news about your achievement and want to congratulate you. You are professional ice hockey player. This is an interesting sports branch for Turkey to say the least. Turkish youngsters living in Germany usually prefer football over other sports and are headed towards a proffesional football career . Can you tell us why you have chosen ice hockey?
Sinan Akdag – I lived with my family in Germany, in Rosenheim. When I was 3 years old, the city’s ice hockey team won the German Championship. There was great enthusiasm in the city and my father startesd to grow an increasing interest towards ice hockey. Besides we lived near the ice hockey arena. As i was four, my father introduced me to ice hockey, and from then on i have played the game and made the ultimate decision as i was 8 years old.
Ice hockey has been the most conservative sports where Germany let foreign players play
NT – Have you been part of German National Ice Hockey Team in any big tournament?
SA – Yes, last May i had played at the World Championships in Sweden.
NT– Can you give us information about the tournament, how was the atmosphere over there?
SA – It was my first big tournament and first World Championships experience. I was one of the youngest players on the team. I was very happy and enthusiastic of being a part of the tournament. We played a total of 7 matches in a 8-team group. I’ve played in four games in the tournament. Playing in the World Championships was an incredible experience and I was overjoyed getting into the team.
The World Championships is always a great joy and creates a wonderful atmosphere. Fans have been chanting all the time and it was intense at times.
As Germany, we were in the same group with hosts, Sweden and the atmosphere was great in our game against them. More than 10 000 people had filled the arena to overflowing. Although other games had nor attracted that many fans we still played in front of no less than 4000-5000 spectators.
NT – You know that ice hockey’s top level is to play at Stanley Cup in the United States and Canada, the National Hockey League (NHL). Is your aim to play in America?
SA – Frankly i used to have this aim. Young ice hockey players have the greatest chance for playing in the NHL when they are 18-19 years old. In NHL there is a draft just as there is one in the NBA.
I have not been drafted into NHL, now i am 22 years old and my dream to play in America seems to be fading. I need to improve my performances in big tournaments. Yes the dream is still there but i imagine it won’t be easy.
NT – There are many European players who go to NHL without having been drafted. Transactions from Europe is always a oppurtunity ?
SA – Sure, but you have to be the best player in the league you play. At the World Championships you have to be one of the the best five players.
NT – One day, if you play ice hockey professionally in the United States as a German citizen Turk, are you aware that you would be an example for young Turks living in Turkey and Germany?
SA – We are talking about NHL, the world’s best league. If i play in the NHL it would comparable just like Hidayet Turkoglu plays in the NBA. When a Turkish player goes to NHL to play ice hockey, more and more people will show interest both in Germany and Turkey. If this happens, in my opinion more children will start to play ice hockey in Turkey. But in the end football is the number one sport in both countries, but over time this will contribute greatly to the advancement of ice hockey in Turkey.
NT – Speaking of Turkey, what do you know about ice hockey here?
SA – I follow Turkish ice hockey but my knowledge on Turkish hockey teams is not at the same level as German teams ice. I follow the Turkish National team too. They were champions in their group and promoted to the second tier this year.
While i was in Sweden at World Championship, i was called by the Turkish national team coach and the federation chairman. They have congratulated me, and I thanked them. Of course, this have delighted me, it was a beautiful moment.
NT – You have quiet an interesting life story. Your mother was not given residence permit by German officials and she would almost had been deported from Germany. Now you represent Germany on an international basis. Have ever considered to mention this story through German media ?
SA – Yes, my mother had problems with visa. I haven’t known this since this year I lived in this situation. No one in my family nor any other person haven’t told me about this. This year i was told about it by a close family friend as i was at a training camp.
Frankly i haven’t considered about this situation that much.the more he thought about this issue. I was born in Germany but of course my parents are Turkish. There is this mixture. A mixture of German and Turkish elements. But if I have to choose between Turkey and Germany i would choose Germany. I grew up in Germany, live here and here I learned to play ice hockey. So I think that my choice is very natural and normal.
NT – You have opened a new door for Turkish children in Germany playing ice hockey. Do you feel like a pioneer yourself?
SA – No. Not really as an example. My hope is that Turkish youngsters can complete the integration here, that they learn the German language, and are able to communicate with people, to go to school and need to adapt to the way of life here. Of course I think everyone should live in his own particular culture. This is very important.
NT – Are there other young professional hockey players of Turkish or foreign origin who can advance to the German National Ice Hockey Team?
SA – Since one year a Turkish player is playing in Nuremberg. At Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers. He also played for the German youth national teams from U-16 and U-20. I hope he will be called to the German national team as well. He is a very good player.
In Germany there are many players of foreign origin, and there are players from all over the world. There are nine foreign players in our team. Teams consist of 11 players, at least half of them are foreign players. In fact, German players have a hard time to find a spot in the starting line-up. United States, Canada, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Sloveni, Slovakia….many players from these countries…
NT – Can you tell us about yourself? What does Sinan do when he isn’t playing ice hockey, what hobbies does he have?
SA – Training pace is intense. I have an organized life. Training last year was from 9 to 12. The rest of the day I had free. After spending time with my friends, i was going to evening school. This year I finished high school (Gymnasium) by going to evening classes.
I have taken the Abitur, the entrance exam for university in Germany. I v got the results very recently. I start my education at the university next week. It will be a distance-education in my case. I am going to study at Düsseldorf business school.
I love playing football and basketball, also play tennis occasionally. I have always been interested in all kinds of sports, it keeps me fit. Not so much time for anyting else these days. I do training every day except Mondays. On Friday and Sunday we play our league games. German Ice Hockey season continues from August to April . 3-4 months of summer holiday awaits me thereafter. But even then i have my training schedule evenings, with the team, or i do it by myself. You jog or do fitness.