Turkish fans get ready to party
The streets of Turkey are all set to be eerily empty on Friday night as Turks pack into bars, tea houses or just about anywhere with a television set to watch the national team take on Croatia in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals, reported dpa.
That Turkey even made it to the quarter-finals came as a huge surprise to most.
On Sunday night, with 20 minutes to go and 2-0 down against the Czech Republic in their final game of the group stage, most Turks watching proceedings from afar where downcast.
Three goals in the final 15 minutes, though, sealed a stunning 3-2 victory as the country went crazy.
Thousands of people waving Turkish flags started impromptu street parties as convoys of cars honked their way through the centre of almost every town and city in the country.
It was not so much the victory itself but the dramatic way the Turkish side came back that has lifted spirits so high.
Talk in the capital has been of little else since the victory.
Business programmes start out with stock analysts discussing football tactics, weather reports have been giving detailed forecasts for Vienna (where the match is played) and perhaps inevitably politicians have also jumped on the bandwagon.
During an address to party colleagues on Tuesday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the loudest cheers when he congratulated the Turkish team on their victory over the Czechs.
He said that it was the Turkish spirit of "fighting till your last breath" that won the match, and then went on to say that his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party would also "fight to the last breath" against a court case to close down the party.
A former semi-professional footballer himself, Erdogan understands that football is the one thing that all Turks are passionate about and so it wasn't surprising that he announced he will be in Vienna for the match.
For the fans back home there are no official events such as outdoor screenings or fan zones. There is no need. Fans will watch the match wherever they can and then, if they win, all streets right across the country will become fan zones and the partying will last until morning.