In an amazing show of sporting prowess and plucky determination, this past summer an Irish tourist was allegedly forced to take a break from enjoying his vacation to defend himself from a group of angry Turkish shopkeepers.
Taking on the group of men single-handedly, he holds his own, proving true the saying “You’ll never beat the Irish.”
The mass brawl began earlier this month in the Istanbul neighborhood of Aksaray when the man, described by Turkish media as an Irishman and an alleged “professional boxer,” accidentally knocked over a fridge filled with bottled water. In a severe over-reaction to the tourist's mistake, the shopkeeper proceeds to attack the man with a stick in punishment for his clumsy blunder and is joined by neighboring shopkeepers in his attack.
Not happy to take the abuse lying down, the man stands his ground, knocking a man straight to the ground at one point in the CCTV footage. Such is his enthusiasm to protect himself that he eventually has to be calmed down and led away once the shopkeepers accept defeat.
The alleged Irishman has become something of an unexpected hero in Turkey since the video was released on Tuesday. Not only has Irish fighter become the country’s ultimate underdog but he has become a surprising symbol of the division in Turkey between the progressive left and the conservative government.
Shopkeepers are generally supporters of the current government and were involved in attacks on protesters during an anti-government protest in 2013. Anti-government social media users have hailed the Irishman as one of their own for fighting them off.
This is one case where the stereotype of the fighting Irish comes out to help a man in need. Hasn’t Liam Neeson made enough "Taken" films by now to show the rest of the world that you should never mess with an Irishman, even if you do outnumber him ten to one?
* Originally published Aug 22 2015.