January 25, 2009

Turkey: 2008-2009 Turkiye Kupasi: Quarterfinals, with thumbnail profiles of the 8 clubs remaining.

Filed under: Turkey — admin @ 2:59 pm


The  2008-2009 Turkish Cup is in it’s Quarterfinals Round (aka the 4th Round).   The competition switches back from the Group Stage (3rd Round) format to a knockout style format for the rest of the tournament.  Gone are all the lower division clubs;  the Big 3 (of Besiktas,  Fenerbahce,  and Galatasaray),  plus 5 other first division clubs,  remain.  Cup holders are the central Anatolian club Kayserispor;  they were knocked out last round.

Turkish Cup fixtures and results.  {Click here}.

2008-2009 Turkiye Kupasi page on Wikipedia  {Click here}.

Turkcell Super Lig table {Click here}. 

The 8 clubs still alive in the competition…

Ankaraspor. Relatively new club (est. 1978), with 5 seasons in the top flight.  No major titles,  but are currently 4th in the league.

Antalyaspor.  Classic yo-yo club, with 5 spells in top tier in last 36 years; 14 seasons in 1st division.  No major titles.

Besiktas.  One of the Big 3.  Founded in 1903,  Besiktas Jimnastik Kulübü are the oldest Turkish club (which was formed by Turks).  Their name is pronounced Be-shik-tash. Besiktas have been drawing very good crowds in the last few years (around 26,000 per game).  Nicknmed Kara Kartaller (the Black Eagles),  Besiktas have won 12 National Titles (their last in 2003),  and 7 Turkish Cups (last in 2007).


Bursaspor.  Bursa {see this} is the fourth largest city in Turkey,  known as Green Bursa for it’s many parks and gardens.  Bursaspor have the fourth biggest fan base in Turkey,  drawing around 16,000 per game.  40 seasons in the top flight.  Bursaspor won the 1986 Turkish Cup.

Denizlispor.  18 seasons in the first division.  No major titles.

Fenerbahce.  Founded in 1907,  Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu are located on the Asian side of the Bosporus Strait,  in the Kadikoy District of Istanbul  {see this}.  The name Fenerbahce means lighthouse garden,  and their crest features an oak acorn leaf.  Fenerbahce are tied with Galatasaray for the most championships.  The club has the highest average attendance in Turkey by far…around 39,000 last season,  making them the 34th highest-drawing club in Europe  {see this list from Wikipedia: Top average attendances of European Football Clubs}.   Fenerbahce have won 17 National Titles (their last in 2007),  and 4 Turkish Cups,  but none in half a century:  their last Cup win was in 1983.



Galatasaray.  Current league champions.  Formed in 1905,  by students at the elite Galatasaray Lycee,  in Istanbul.  This school was established,  as Galata Palace,  way back in the Middle Ages,  in 1481,  to train civil servants  (palace is Sarary in Turkish).  By the 1840′s,  the school bergan training Health Service personnel,  and by the 1870′s,  it expanded to include training for law,  literature,  and political science.  After the Turkish Republic was established,  under Kemal Ataturk,  circa 1923  {see Wikipedia’s page on Ataturk here},  the school changed it’s name to Galatasaray University,  and expanded it’s curriculum to encompass the ideals of the new Republic (ie,  goodbye Dark Ages,  hello democratic,  secular nation-state).  

Galatasaray SK are affectionately known as ’Cim-Bom’ (pronounced Jim-Bom;  the origins of the nickname are cloudy),  and are also nicknamed the Lions.   Galatasary will be moving into a giant new state-of-the-art stadium in late 2009  {see this (computer rendering of the new stadium);  see this (Wikipedia’s page on the under-construction Turk telecom Arena) }.   Galatasaray Spor Kulubu  have the most silverware of any Turkish club,  with 17 National Titles,  and  14 Turkish Cups (their last in 2005).   Official Galatasaray site,  {Click here}.  General Galatasaray information…


Sivasspor.  Sivas is in the eastern part of the central Anatolian region {Click here,  for a random, but beautiful photo from the region (from Beth at Picasa) }.  Known as Yigidolar (Bravemen),  Sivasspor are in just their 4th season in the first division.  This is a club that really looks like it is going places.  Sivasspor finished fourth last season,  and they currently lead the league,  at exactly the halfway mark of the season.   A telling statistic is that versus the Big 3 last season,  Sivasspor managed only 3 points out of a possible 18;  but this season,  they have taken 7 points out 9 so far,  including a 2-0 win over Galatasaray on Saturday.  If Sivasspor do manage to hold the lead,  it would be a huge accomplishment,  as no club outside the Big-3-plus-Trabzonspor has ever won the Turkish crown.  Here is a write-up from a Fenerbahce blog, posted on Monday, 26th Januar …{Click here (Fenerbahce }.  Sivasspor’s leading scorer is Mehmet Yildiz.  Leading scorers in Turkey can be seen  {here (SoccerBot) }.  Here’s what my favorite Turkish player,  Villarreal’s Nihat Kahveci,  has to say about Sivasspor  {Click here (SABAH newspaper, English edition, from New Year’s day) }.   

Thanks to Ugur,  for information,  graphics,  and links,  at PCLion FC Blog {Click here}.   Thanks to David Goldblatt,  for his book “The Ball Is Round,  A Global History of Football“,  originally published in 2006,  by Penguin Books, Ltd.,  London.   Thanks to the Albiuon Road site,  for info I couldn’t find in other places  {Albion Road/ Turkish Super LigClick here (the page features a nice Google Earth map of the clubs in the league}.   Thanks to the contibutor’s to the relevant pages at Wikipedia  {SuperLig page,  Click here}.

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