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Sinan Cem Tanik – the broadest smile of Turkey

Maybe the Turkish national team is not as glamorous as some of the other teams competing in the upcoming European Championship 2011. But strong players like its captain Sinan Cem Tanik add colour and quality to Austria’s opponent in Pool A, due to which the Turks have gained a certain reputation in the European League over the past few years.

Already before the start of a match Sinan Tanik excels among the other players of his team: The 2m-giant, who currently plays in the ranks of Galatasaray Istanbul, likes to display a broad and sometimes mischievous smile. Due to his dark hair tinged with grey, Tanik can even pass for a Turkish George Clooney. However, his true qualities as a player become visible after the first blow of the whistle.

TanikAustria’s Head Coach Michael Warm got to know the receiver quite well due to the four European League encounters against Turkey in the summer 2010, one of which Austria was able to win 3:1. “He is very experienced. Solid as a rock – he is difficult to knock over“, says Warm about the 30-year-old who has played in the Turkish selection for more than ten years now.

Also Erkan Togan, the Turkish player in the ranks of the Vienna hotVolleys, who once was the mentor of the young Tanik in the Turkish team, only has good things to say about his former colleague: “Since our team was rejuvenated two years ago, he is the ‘older brother’ for the young players“, says Togan.

Tanik is a passionate volleyball player who always strives for the victory. At the same time he is never aggressive and a very fair person. What he is now is definitely also the result of the experience he gained at the numerous clubs he played for: in Turkey alone he played for half a dozen clubs, among them Galatasaray and Halkbank Ankara. He was the first Turkish player with a contract in the strong Polish league, where he played for Olsztyn from 2006 to 2008 at the side of the Olympic champion 2008 and former Vienna hotVolleys player Richard Lambourne.

”With his experience sinan is an important factor for the team“, says Togan. “He is the player who in decisive moments radiates confidence and acts as the extended arm of Coach Veljko Basic on the court.”

”As long as I am healthy I am going to play“, declares Tanik who is really crazy about volleyball and likes to get in the mood with music by Cat Stevens and Deep Purple and who also likes to play the guitar himself. Even after his active career the man from Ankara will not fall into a deep hole because he is planning to finish his studies of land-use planning.