The development, position, and importance of handball, which has produced the most national athletes and achieved the biggest international sporting successes in Konya, were discussed at a panel organized by the Konya Culture and Tourism Association.
At the panel, which featured the legendary coach of Turkish handball, Ahmet Toptaş, as well as Namık Kul, Murat Çaycı, Murat Erpolat, Hamdi Tiryaki, and Hasan Basri Çevik as speakers, Konya's former national athletes, Korer Koral, Temuçin Aydınlıoğlu, Boğaç Üner, Murat Akpınar, Cem Danyal Arslan, and Şevket Altuğ Taşdemir, also spoke through video interviews.
Journalist Mustafa Güden, who organized the program, pointed out that handball, which was founded by the Federation in 1976, began to be played in Konya by Mazhar Vardar in 1978, and with the return of Coach Ahmet Toptaş to Konya, Konya Anatolian High School became the driving force of handball, and the athletes who emerged from this school have achieved great success both at school and club level. YSEspor, whose nucleus is Konya Anatolian High School, played one season in the 1st League, finishing second in the league and winning the Ministry of Youth and Sports Cup, earning the right to participate in European Cups. This is recorded in history as Konya's biggest national and international achievement in terms of club success.
Toptaş started his speech by saying, "All of the athletes I worked with were intelligent individuals." He continued, "What you could teach to another team in five training sessions, you could teach my children in two training sessions. They were dedicated and worked very hard for success. In the end, all of them reached very good levels in both their sports and business careers."
Toptaş also explained the game strategies and said, "All of our plans were working well on the field, but we were not able to make shots in the set plays. So, we brought our goalkeeper Murat forward in free kicks. We saw that we were successful with this strategy, and we frequently sent Murat to attack by leaving the goal empty, which resulted in us scoring many goals. We applied this strategy in our European matches as well, which earned a place for it in handball literature."
Toptaş also mentioned that they played an exhibition match in front of 25,000 spectators on the No.1 field with handball lines drawn before a Konyaspor-Idmanyurdu match, which became the record-breaking match with the highest number of spectators in Turkish handball history. "We had created a beautiful handball atmosphere in Konya. Today, I can say that with the development of opportunities, success can continue," concluded Toptaş.