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21/03/2017 10:10
Emre Batur – A role model to look up to on and off the court
News from the clubs

Ankara, Turkey, March 21, 2017. Men’s Volleyball is rapidly growing in Turkey – and this process is likely to continue with the help of inspirational people such as middle blocker Emre Batur. “Volleyball is a lifestyle for me,” Emre says. “I can be an example and role model to the youngsters and this is a nice feeling, since you know you can have a positive influence on young people with your personality, character and performances. This happens especially when I play for the national team, where I can be a source of inspiration for every child. Kids should love and play Volleyball, learn to respect a clear set of values and know that the world can be theirs.”

Batur has been playing since 2012 for Halkbank ANKARA and even though the team from the Turkish capital had set very high goals for their participation in this year’s CEV Volleyball Champions League, injuries and other problems prevented them from progressing to the Playoffs. “We have achieved many successes both in Turkey and on the European stage as well but sometimes teams have to cope with unlucky circumstances,” Emre said. “However, we never surrendered and did stick with each other. Some new players joined us earlier this season and they made us stronger by quickly fitting into the team. Unfortunately, there were many injuries, one after the other, but we are now back on track and we have climbed back to second place in the standing of the national league. Our major goal is to win the Turkish championship and we will do our best to achieve this goal. As a result, we are looking ahead with quite some optimism.”

In this process, Emre had to come back from injury too. “I had a complicated surgery and my recovery process was a very challenging one. However, the management of Halkbank, the coaching staff and all of my teammates stood by me and they helped me come back. I came back to Volleyball also with the help of my family. I somehow gathered myself in a relatively short time and reacted positively to the surgery. I feel like I am stronger now. I know what my coaches expect from me and I believe that I will be able to help my team even more in the coming weeks and months. I do not think this comeback was ‘difficult’. Actually, I am convinced that if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish any goal you set. The most important thing is to know what you want and how you feel.”

The 27-year-old Batur is known for paying much attention to his physical conditioning and pictures have surfaced on social media where he is wearing a ‘Superman t-shirt’. “I am very happy with my recovery process, I have worked hard for it and I believe I can be better than I was before. We can somehow say that Superman Emre is coming back!” he said. “Working on physical conditioning and power is as important as talent. I think that your natural abilities will not make any difference if you do not work hard and improve yourself. If you want to be a top-level Volleyball player, your physique must be at the top level too. Besides the physical side of it, mental and psychological strength is essential too. I want to single out our team captain Ivan Miljkovic. He is almost 40 years old. The level of his performance and power are at the top level because he always works very hard in practice.”

Miljkovic is actually one of Emre’s idols and role models: “We played together with Ivan in Fenerbahce. I think the whole world knows what he has achieved in his career. He definitely has outstanding leadership skills but what is most important, he is a good person. He is a good captain. I am proud I can play with him once again in the same team and therefore I am very happy. He teaches us a lot and I know there are many things we can still learn from him. I hope we can play together in the future too. Ivan has brought some extra strength to our team and he is very popular among the fans too.”  

After missing the 2016 season due to injury, Emre is now hoping to play for the Turkish national team later this summer: “I hope I can proudly wear the shirt of the national team this year. I am preparing for this and I believe we can perform well at the European Championship in Poland,” Emre says. “Actually, we are striving for success at any international competition organised by the CEV or FIVB, including the Olympics. If I can help younger players in their development, I will be happy to do so. I am ready to help and serve the team with all of my strength. I do not have to play and be standing on the court to do so but I am happy if I can be an example to young sportsmen in any way.”

Emre Batur’s ‘ID Card’

Say something good about yourself:
I always try to be a good person and want everyone to feel good and be happy.
Favourite singer: Rihanna
Favourite movie: My Father and My Son
Favourite car: I would love to drive a Lamborghini, but I am happy with the BMW 520 I am driving right now.
Fashion: I try to follow fashion quite closely and as a modern person, I always try to dress well.  
Family: My family are my life; they are the reason for me to work hard. We complete each other very well and if it were not for my family, I would not be Emre Batur, the person I am.
Mum: She still follows all of my matches from the stands, and she is some kind of first coach to me. She still cheers me on and provides instructions on how to block, how to spike, etc.
Best friend: Turgay Dogan. We were born and raised in the same village, Tokat and we have played together at Fenerbahce and Halkbank as well.
Most memorable moment:
receiving the award for the Best Server at the Final Four of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Champions League in Ankara. I have won many championships and trophies, I have played many important matches, but this individual award has a special place in my heart.

Note: some of the pictures included in this article were taken at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Turkey

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