PAOK

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Description:
The Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans (. Panthessaloníkios Athlitikós Ómilos Kostantinopolitón), abbreviated PAOK (), is a Macedonian sports club in Thessaloniki, Greece. The club is home to several teams, including football, basketball, volleyball, handball, water polo, swimming, wrestling, hockey and weightlifting. PAOK was founded in 1926. Because of its crest, it is also known as the "Two-Headed Eagle of the North", in contrast with AEK Athens, the "Two-Headed Eagle of the South".

History

PAOK is the historical continuation of the ‘Hermes’ Athletic and Cultural Association from Constantinople established by Greek residents of the city in 1875 in the very heart of the city in the Pera area. The need of Constantinople's Greek residents to express and support their Hellenism within Turkey was what led to the creation of this club. In 1923 following the failed Greek invasion of Asia Minor and the agreed population swap between Greece and the newly established Turkish republic, the Greeks of Constantinople renamed their club Peraclub in line with the new constitution adopted by Kemal Atatürk. Despite this blow to Hellenic culture in Turkey, which was forced to take the path of the refugee and to abandon its traditional home, Peraclub continued its sporting struggle, promising to continue to do so as long as there were Greeks left in Constantinople. The club won cup after cup proving that although the Greeks were a minority...
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