Born in Kayseri, Turkey, in 1972, Mehmet Topcu immigrated to Herne, Germany, where his parents were already living, shortly before turning 16. He studied medicine and worked as a senior radiologist at Klinikum Dortmund hospital until 2012. Dubbed Radtop, his first practice opened its doors in Hamm a year later, with a second established in Bochum in 2019.
When and how did you become a Borussia Dortmund fan?
My parents had left for Germany when I was a year old and I lived with my grandparents in Kayseri. I’d watch football with my grandfather on TV. In September 1986 Borussia Dortmund played a Bundesliga game. Believe it or not, there was a Turk on the team who scored one of the goals in the 3–0 win over FC Homburg. I was hooked and my interest in Borussia Dortmund only grew from there.
You came to Germany as a teenager in the mid-1980s. What was that like for you at the time?
I moved to Herne to live with my parents just before my 16th birthday. I went to vocational school and didn’t speak a word of German. That was pretty tough at first, especially as back then most people of Turkish origin weren’t nearly as widely accepted as they fortunately are today. I quickly learned German and went on to graduate from Haranni Gymnasium high school in Herne, which allowed me to study medicine at the Ruhr University in Bochum.
And when was the first time you went to a game?
It was a while before that happened. In 2003, my wife Gülay and I were recently married and living in Wellinghofen when friends invited us to watch a game in the stadium with them. Then we got to experience the incredible thrill of that cauldron of emotions. It was early May and the penultimate home game against Nuremberg. The easy 4–1 win played out in what was a truly electrifying atmosphere. From 2019, I have reserved tickets in the Evonik hospitality section because it’s a great place to invite friends and clients to experience that spine-tingling spirit in the stadium. From time to time, I also go with my family because my daughter Asya, who was born in 2009, and my son Altan are now also passionate Borussia Dortmund fans. As for my son, I needed to give him a nudge in the right direction. At the age of four, he was on the verge of becoming a Bayern Munich fan because “they always win.” So I decided it was high time to take him to a game – to prevent the worst from happening …
Interview: Uwe Schedlbauer
In this section, our main sponsor Evonik, who supports us at all of our international games, lets soccer fans who feel close to Borussia Dortmund but live nowhere near SIGNAL IDUNA PARK have their say.
In 1980, Erdal Keser was the first Turkish footballer to play for Borussia Dortmund. Eight more have followed in his footsteps, as have German footballers with Turkish roots, such as İlkay Gündoğan. On the stands, too, ties with Turkey are strong. And that’s no surprise since the passionate way of living and breathing the game on the Bosphorus is also a reality in Dortmund. But it’s not just sport that the Turks are passionate about. They also love the sciences. That’s why Evonik opened the Home of Polyurethanes in Istanbul. Wherever you look in life, you will find polyurethane, or PU foam for short. It is not only used in modern footballs to give them excellent flight characteristics even when wet, but whoever watches the game on TV is also most likely sitting on PU – and those dreaming of the next championship title are probably sleeping on polyurethane mattresses, too. With additives from Evonik, PU always boasts exactly the right properties for the application at hand. Evonik has a total of three sites in Turkey and employs more than 150 people in the country.