February 20, 2018

2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list & seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig./Plus, top three scorers in Süper Lig, and the player with the most assists (after 22 weeks of the 2017-18 season).

Filed under: Turkey — admin @ 4:10 pm

2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list, seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig

By Bill Turianski on 20 February 2018;
-Turkish SüperLig – fixtures, results, table (
-Hakan Sukur – Turkey’s fallen hero who can never return home (by Bob Lewis at The Observer on 18 Feb. 2018 via
-{Note: you can see 17/18 Turkish 1st division attendances here, but attendance figures in Turkey are spotty and incomplete. Attendance from past years is also incomplete; the following link is the best that one can find this subject,}

I decided to post a map of the Turkish Süper Lig this late in the season, because unlike in England, Germany, Spain, and France, there is an actual title-race going on in the Turkish 1st division right now. Not only is there a title race in Turkey, there is a chance that an untitled club can claim the Turkish title. That club is İstanbul Başakşehir FK. As of 20 February 2018, Başakşehir are currently in 1st place in Süper Lig, ahead of both Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, by 2 points.

İstanbul Başakşehir.
Başakşehir, est. 1990, are a relatively new, municipally-supported team. They are located in the western outer-suburbs of Istanbul, in a district (also called Başakşehir), that has only existed, on paper, for about a decade. Başakşehir play at the 17-K-capacity Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium, a municipal stadium which is 25 km (15 mi) northwest of central Istanbul, and which opened in 2014. {Photos of Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium (}

In their three previous seasons, İstanbul Başakşehir had back-to-back 4th place finishes, before a 2nd-place finish in 2016-17. Başakşehir have a very small fan-base, drawing only around 4-to-5-K-per-game these days. But, in fact, the team was only drawing about 100 or so before they first joined the top flight in 2006. And, after a relegation, and then a promotion back to Süper Lig in 2014, Başakşehir were only drawing 2.6 K per game. But that was before their recent success in the last couple of seasons, and before a sub-culture of fans latched onto them…students protesting fan-violence in Turkish football.

A very large share of Başakşehir’s new fans are students who support the club out of protest…”The fact that the majority of their supporters, known as the Grey Owls, are mostly university students is an interesting story in itself. Rather than fiercely passionate and loyal fans of the club, they actually began following it simply as a means to protest against the violence that had become the norm among Turkish football fans in the years prior.” {-Quote from The Turkish Leicester City? A look at Istanbul Basaksehir’s rise by Mark Molyneux on 20 Jan 2017 at}…”We started to support the club to show that there is another way,” said Basaksehir supporter Alperen. “We wanted to show it’s possible to follow football without conflict.” {-Quote from Istanbul Basaksehir: From crowds of 100 to top of the Turkish league by Steve Crossmann on 25 Nov 2016 at}

Başakşehir’s lack of a large and vociferous fan-base has actually helped it attract on-field talent, because many players find the atmosphere so stress-free that they can thrive there. And there are some well-known, if a little bit past-their-prime, players wearing the Basaksehir orange these days…former internationals such as GK Volkan Babacan, DF Gaël Clichy, Winger Eljero Elia, AMF Arda Turan, FW Mevlüt Erdinç, and FW Emmanuel Adebayor. There is also a not-as-well-known, but very crucial player, on Başakşehir right now. That is the Bosnian MF/Winger/playmaker Edin Višća, age 28. Višća was selected by one media outlet as the 3rd-best player in Super Lig in 2016-17, and he currently leads the league in assists (see his photo and caption further below). Başakşehir’s manager, the former Turkish national team coach Abdullah Avcı, has been accused of playing hyper-defensive anti-football. But lack of funds has forced him, through canny transfers on a minuscule budget, to field a defensive-minded counter-attacking side. (Başakşehir, along with Beşiktaş, have the stingiest defenses in Süper Lig, currently, with an average of 0.95-goals-allowed-per-game.) Again, look at the 54-year-old Abdullah Avcı’s results since he took over at Başakşehir (for his second spell there in charge there) in June 2014: 4th place in 2014-15, 4th place in 2015-16, 2nd place in 2016-17, and now 1st place currently [20 Feb 2018].

There is one problem with this quasi-fairy-tale story…İstanbul Başakşehir are funded by the types of anti-democratic reactionaries who are running the Turkish government these days: politicians with close ties to the authoritarian President Erdogan, as well as Erdogan family members. (And Erdogan was at the opening of the club’s new stadium in 2014 to “bless” the whole IBFK project.) So, when all things are truly parsed, Başakşehir are really not so much the well-meaning neutral’s favorite. As this thread on Reddit/soccer attests.

The map page…
The map shows the stadium-locations of the 18 Süper Lig clubs of 2017-18 (also see two paragraphs below for more on that). Alongside the club’s crests are their 17/18 home kits. At the right-hand-side of the map page is the Turkish 1st division (Süper Lig) titles list (1959-2017). I would have shown attendances but you cannot rely on attendance figures from Turkish football; some seasons there are no attendance figures to be found anywhere, and even when there are attendances reported, many games’ crowd figures go unreported {like here}.

At the lower-right of the map-page is a list of the cities of Turkey (with metro-area population estimates from 2015;”>source). The 15 largest cities in Turkey are listed, then the rest of the list comprises the other cities in the country which currently have Süper Lig representation. As you can see by the lower portion of that list, the Turkish football pyramid is competitive enough that clubs from rather small cities are able to punch above their weight, and find a way into Süper Lig. Currently, one third of the teams that comprise the Turkish 1st division are from cities whose metro-areas have less than 400,000 inhabitants. And three of those clubs are from cities that have a metro-area population of less than 150,00, including the club from Akhisar (see next paragraph).

There has been quite a lot of new football stadia built in Turkey in the last few years, like 30 new venues, and one venue just opened in late January. Akhisar Belediyespor, of Akhisar, in west-central Anatolia, opened their new 11.4-K-capacity Spor Toto Akhisar Belediye Stadı. Ever since Akhisar won their first-ever promotion to Süper Lig in 2012, the club had been forced to play 50 km (30 mi) away, in Manisa. Despite this, and despite the fact that locally-based Akhisar supporters had to round-trip-travel around 100 km per home game, Akhisar have been able to consolidate their postion in the Turkish top flight. (With finishes of 14th, 10th, 12th, 8th, and 7th place last season [they currently sit 12th].) {Here is an aerial shot of the stadium (} In case you’re wondering, the green designs on the roof depict olive leaves, which are also seen on Akhisar’s crest, and are a symbol of the city of Akhisar, which is the largest producer of olive oil in the country.

Top three scorers in Süper Lig, plus the player with the most assists (after 22 weeks of the 2017-18 season)…
Photo credits above – Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor), photo unattributed at Bafétimbi Gomis (Galatasaray), photo by Eskim/Icon Sport via Adis Jahović (Göztepe/Konyaspor), photo from Edin Višća (Başakşehir), photo by Andy Astfalck/Getty Images Europe via

Thanks to all at the following…
-Blank map of Turkey by NordNordWest at (
-Süper Lig (
-Süper Lig (, for stats.

September 9, 2013

Turkey: 2013-14 Süper Lig location-map, with attendance data from 12/13, Turkish pro titles list (1959-2013), and population-list of cities in Turkey (with first-division cities noted). / Plus photos of top 5 leading scorers in 2012-13 Süper Lig.

Filed under: Turkey — admin @ 4:51 pm

Turkey: Süper Lig, 2013-14 season location-map, with attendances from 2012-13

Turkish SüperLig – fixtures, results, table (

    Süper Lig

At the upper-left of the map page is a location-map of the 18 clubs in the 2013-14 Süper Lig, which is the first division in Turkey. The 2013-14 campaign will be the 56th season of the competition. The predecessor to Süper Lig was called Milli Lig, and it began in 1959, when 16 clubs from only the 3 largest cities in Turkey were invited to compete. The 3 largest Turkish cities were and still are Istanbul (the largest, with a current metropolitan-area population of around 13.7 million {2012 estimate/ see population list on map page}; Ankara (the second city and Turkey’s capital, with a current metropolitan-area population of around 4.6 million); and ízmir (south-west of Istanbul on the Mediterranean Sea, and the 3rd-largest city in Turkey with a current metropolitan-area population of around 3.4 million).

There was no promotion/relegation for the first pro season in Turkey in 1959, but for the second season, which was the first to follow the fall/winter/spring schedule (in 1959-60), promotion/relegation was introduced, and amateur clubs from the entire country were eligible to play their way into the nascent Turkish top flight, via the promotion/relegation play-offs known as the Baraj Maçları (Baraj Games, 1959-60 through 1962-63). The first club from a location other than the 3 largest cities made it to the Turkish first division at the first Baraj games at the end of that 2nd season, in the spring of 1961. That club was current 2nd-division-side Adana Demirspor, from Adana, which is the 5th-largest city in Turkey, and is on the south-west coast, on the Mediterranean Sea about 100 km. from the Syrian border (which you can see on a political map of Turkey that is included on the the map page).

The Turkish second division, then-known as 2. Lig, was instituted in 1963-64, and that same season the Turkish first division was re-branded as 1. Lig. Since 2001-02, the Turkish first division has been called Süper Lig, and the second division has been called TFF First League. Promotion/relegation is currently 3 teams up & 3 teams down every season. The Big 3 of Istanbul have dominated Turkish football since it turned pro in 1959.

Below, the northwest of Turkey, including Thrace, Greater Istanbul and NW Anatolia

The Big 3 of Turkey are of course Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, and Beşiktaş. The only other club that had won a title in the first 5 decades of Turkish first division football was Black Sea/north-eastern Anatolian-based Trabzonspor, who have won 6 Turkish titles (last in 1984). Trabzonspor, who wear claret-and-sky-blue colors, are from the rather modest-sized city of Trabzon, which is about 150 km. west of the Georgian frontier, and is currently the 28th-largest city in Turkey (with a metropolitan-area population of only around 243,000). It took quite a long time for another club from outside of the Big 3+Trabzonspor to win a title. That was finally achieved in 2009-10, by Bursaspor, of Bursa, which was the original Ottoman capital and which is about a two-and-half-hours’ drive south of Istanbul, near the Sea of Marmara. Bursa is the 4th-largest city in Turkey, (with a metropolitan-area population of around 1.9 million). Bursaspor wear green-and-white-hooped jerseys and are known as the Green Crocodiles.

Reigning champions are Galatasaray, who won their 19th title, and second consecutive title, in May 2013. The orange-and-dark-red Galatasaray and the dark-blue-and-yellow Fenerbahçe are perennially neck-and-neck in vying for the most championships in Turkey, with Galatasaray currently leading Fenerbahçe by one title – Fenerbahçe having won 18 titles (last in 2011).

Istanbul, straddling the two continents of Europe and Asia, currently has 4 clubs in the first division – 3 located on the European side of the straits of the Bosphorous…Galatasaray, Beşiktaş, and Kasımpaşa; while located on the Asian side of the straits of the Bosphorous is Fenerbahçe. Both Galatasaray (aka Cimbom) and Fener regularly draw 40,000 these days. Fenerbahçe SK have been drawing in the high-30 K-to 40 K range for over a decade now – since 2002-03, at their 50,500-capacity Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. Galatasaray SK have been drawing in the high-30 K-to 40 K range since 2011-12, which was the first full season they started playing in their new and space-age venue, the 52,000-capacity Türk Telekom Arena.

Beşiktaş JK, nicknamed Kara Kartallar (the Black Eagles), are the third-best-drawing club in Istanbul and in Turkey – they draw around 22,000 per game (and have the third most Turkish titles, with 13 [last in 2009]). The home ground of Beşiktaş, İnönü Stadium, is home to the world’s loudest football fans, with a record-breaking 141 decibels recorded in the stadium at a game there in May 2013. Beşiktaş, who sport black-and-white-vertically-striped jerseys, traditionally have a more left-wing/working class set of fans, and maintain a sizable contingent of supporters – the Beşiktaş supporters’ group known as Çarşı – who are kind of like the supporters of Hamburg, Germany-based cult-favorite/renegade-football-club FC St. Pauli (of 2.Bundesliga). {Here is the page for ‘Çarşı (supporter group)‘}. Çarşı definitely flies the left-wing/Freak flag and is anti-violence, anti-authoritarianism, anti-religious-ideology, anti-racist, and quasi-anarchist in a Dada-ist sort of way…their most famous slogan is “Çarşı, her şeye karşı!” (English: ‘Çarşı is against everything!’). You will definitely see open-source/left-wing politics on display at the 32,000-capacity İnönü Stadium, and Beşiktaş supporters connected with Çarşı were at the center of the socio-political protests in May, June and July 2013 in Istanbul (see 3 articles linked to 4 paragraphs below).

Turkish pro titles list (1959-2013) is at the upper-left-center of the map page.

City populations listed on the map page are from this page at the Turkish Wikipedia, ‘Türkiye’deki yerleşim yerleri listesi‘ (

Attendance data is at the upper-right-hand side of the map page. Thanks very much to the brilliant – for posting hard-to-find and virtually non-existent Turkish Süper Lig attendance figures (for the 2012-13 season). When I saw that European-Football-Statistics had posted Turkish attendance figures in spring 2013, after 5 straight years without Turkish league attendances being available anywhere, I immediately started working on this map and post.

From Dirty, from 4 June 2013, by Ryan Bailey, ‘Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas fans united by Turkish anti-government protests‘ (


From Der Spiegel, from 5 July 2013, by Özlem Gezer and Maximilian Popp, ‘Pepper Spray Is Our Perfume’: Football Fans Challenge Erdogan‘ (

From New York, from 18 June 2013, by Rob Hughes, ‘The Guiding Hand of Galatasaray‘ (

    Galatasaray SK – 2013 champions of Turkey.

Below: the new home of Galatasaray – Türk Telecom Arena, opened January 2011.

Aerial photo of Türk Telekom Arena from
Photo of fans arriving at Türk Telekom Arena from
Interior photo of Türk Telekom Arena, unattributed at

    Below – Top 5 leading scorers in 2012-13 Süper Lig.


Burak Yılmaz photo, unattributed at
Kalu Uche photo from
Bobô photo from
Pierre Webo photo from AP, at
Pablo Batalla photo unattributed at


Thanks to – for Turkish Süper Lig attendance figures (for the 2012-13 season).

Thanks to NordNordWest for the blank map of Turkey, at, ‘‘.
Thanks to the CIA World Fact Book’s page on Turkey, for the map (at top center of map page),

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en. and,
Süper Lig‘ (
Süper Lig‘ (

December 14, 2010

Turkey: 2010-11 Süper Lig – Stadia map.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Turkey — admin @ 7:55 am

Turkey 2010-11 stadia

The map page shows stadia and club information for the 18 clubs in the 2010-11 Süper Lig. Reigning Turkish champions are Bursaspor, and 2009-2010 Turkiye Kupasi winners and cup holders are Trabzonspor. At the upper right on the map page is the all-time professional titles list for Turkey. Tied for first place, with 17 titles, are Istanbul’s Galatasaray (last title won in 2008) and Fenerbahçe (last title won in 2007); third with 13 titles are Istanbul’s Besiktas (last title won in 2009); fourth are Trabzon-based Trabzonspor, with 6 titles (last title won in 1984); fifth are Bursa-based Bursaspor.

On Sunday, 16 May 2010, for the fist time in 26 years, a football club from outside Istanbul won the Turkish championship. Bursaspor, known as the Green Crocodiles, are from Bursa, which is about 15 km. south of the Sea of Marmara in north-western Anatolia. Bursa is the fourth-largest city in Turkey, with a population of around 1.8 million {2008 census figures}. Bursaspor were formed in 1963 and first made it into the Turkish first division in 1967-68. Although Burasaspor have spent 42 seasons in the first division, they had never really challenged for the title. Before last season, Bursaspor’s best finish was in 1979-80, when they finished in 4th place, 6 points behind winners Trabzonspor. In fact, Bursaspor were recently relegated, in 2003-04 (they won promotion back to Süper Lig two seasons later, in 2005-06). The fallout from that relegation is still felt in the Turkish football scene, as it created a bitter rivalry between Bursaspor and Besiktas…that is explained in this recent article from the brilliant site European Football Weekends: ‘Turkish eye of the storm, Besiktas 1-0 Bursaspo (05:11:10)‘, by Ulas Gürsat.

Bursaspor has become a club that is able to develop good talent while operating on a budget which is a fraction of those of the Big 3 (of Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, and Besiktas). Last season, Bursaspor had a budget of around just 5.5 million pounds, versus Fenerbahce’s 65-million pound budget, and Galatasaray’s 41-million pound outlay. The Green Crocodiles squad plays open attacking football under young (41 yrs. old) manager Ertugrul Saglam, who resurrected his career after his stint managing his old club Besiktas in 2007-08, which included a tepid 3rd-place league finish and an embarrassing 8-0 loss to Liverpool in the 2007-08 Champions League Group Stage. Bursaspor had no standout leading scorer in their title run in 2009-10, instead fielding 4 players (shown below) who scored 7 or 8 league goals. And they were able to succeed without their talismanic young phenom, the supporting striker Sercan Yildrim, who was injured for over half of the campaign. Perhaps the other most promising player in the squad is LW/MF Ozan Ípek…’Ozan Ipek – A Turkish box-to-box midfielder with a big future‘, (IMS

On the last day of the 2009-10 season, Bursaspor squeaked in for the title, by one point, after they beat Besiktas 2-1, while Fenerbahçe only managed to draw 1-1 with Trabzonspor. Fenerbahçe fans at the Sükrü Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul actually thought their club was set to win the title after the stadium announcer gave the wrong score for the match at Bursa. I bet there were a lot of Galatasaray fans that got a good laugh out of that screw-up. Here is an article from 17th May, from the National site, ‘Fenerbahce crushed as Bursa declared Champions of Turkey’.

photo credits – for the Bursa Atatürk Stadyumu photo, here. Shaun Botterill/Getty images at [CL match of Bursa v. Manchester United]. National, article ‘ Fenerbahce crushed as Bursa declared Champions of Turkey’ (17 May , 2010)‘. [Bursaspor fansite].

Census-defined regions of Turkey, see this.

List of cities in Turkey [note: by city population only (no metropolitan-area population included]‘ from
On the chart below, 2008 census figures are used, and all cities with Turkish top-flight representation are listed in bold…


This season, there could very well be another champion from outside Istanbul, as Trabzonspor lead by 5 points, with Bursaspor in second place. The north-eastern Anatolian club Trabzonspor come from the pretty small Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon {which has a city population of around 220,000}. 6-time champions Trabzonspor had their glory days in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the club has not won the title since 1984. It’s starting to look like only 2 of the Big 3 will have a chance for the crown, because Galatasaray are imploding (winning only 1 of their last 6 matches), and they sit 10th, 19 points off the pace. Fenerbahçe sit third, 9 points back. Central Anatolian club Kayserispor are in fourth, 10 points back. Besiktas are fifth, 12 points behind.
Turkish Süper Lig table, here (

Photo credits –

Süper Lig will begin its 5-week-long winter break after the matches scheduled for the weekend of 17 to 19 December. The competition will then be at exactly the half-way point, with clubs having played 17 matches. Play will resume starting on 22 January, 2011.

Note: Galatasaray have not yet begun playing in their just-completed, new, 52,000-seat stadium. It looks like they will begin playing there sometime in late January or early Februaury, 2010. Here is a recent thread (posts from the first week in December, and with lots of photos) from, ‘ISTANBUL – Turk Telecom Arena (52,695)‘.

Thanks to Mehmet Demircan at World Soccer, June 2010 issue.
Photo credits
Thanks to the Gaziantepsor official site, for the photo of their stadium, here (Gaziantep Kamil Ocak Stayumu gallery).

Thanks to Kamil Saim, for his photo of the Kader Has Stadium, which is the new municipal stadium in Kayseri, in Central Anatolia. The term municipal stadium doesn’t do this impressive structure justice here. Kamil Saim at

Thanks to Konyaspor official site, for the photo of their stadium, here (Konya Attatürk Stadi gallery).

Thanks to leopold at, for the photo of the new Maradan Sports Complex in Atalya, here.

Thanks to, for the photo of Bucaspor’s Yeni Buca Stadi, here.

Thanks to Fussball, for the Manisa 19 Mayis Stadi photo, here (gallery).

Thanks to Swatreco at the thread ‘Stadiums in Turkey,’for the Ankara 19 Mayis Stadi photo, here (40% down the page).

Thanks to (this article), for the Bursa Atatürk Stadyumu photo, here.

Thanks to, for the Sivas 4 Eylül Stadyumu photo, here (Sivas photo gallery).

Thanks to, and contributor bahattinsenturk, for the photo of Yenişehir Stadyumu, here.

Thanks to, for the photo of the recently renovated Hüseyin Avmi Aker Stadyumu – Trabzonspor/Hüseyín Avní Aker Stadyumyu.

Thanks to blackbir/dk, for his photo of Istanbul’s Atatürk Olímpíyat Stadi, here (at Blackbir/dk’s photostream, here.

Thanks to adamsik, for the photo of Kasimpasa’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadi, here.

Thanks to Explore, for the photo of Besiktas’ Ínönü Stadyumu, here.

Thanks to contributor, for the photo (via of Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen Stadi, here. The thread is here, ‘Stadium Aerials’…the page linked to starts with 3 photos of Fenerbahce’s Sükrü Saracoglü Stadi, then 3 photos of Besiktas’ Inönü Stadyumu, then the Galatasaray photo.

Thanks to, for the nighttime photo of Fenerbahçe’s Sükrü Saracoglu Stadyumu, here…[Note: the photo is credited to the site, but I could not find the original there. The following links are to the WowTurkey site’s ‘Fenerbahçe Sükrü Saracoglu Stadyumu’ thread, here, with lots of pages full of stadium photos, including shorts from a few years back when the stadium had only 3 sides re-built (~pp.6-9, here), and shots of the exterior lighting display (pp.17-18, here).

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘Süper Lig‘.

November 2, 2009

Turkey: 2009-10 Super Lig.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Turkey,Zoom Maps — admin @ 7:06 pm


This is the 52nd season of the competition.  Reigning champions are Besiktas JK.   SuperLig table {click here (}  [note: Ankaraspor was demoted on 15 September,  due to conflicts of interest on the club's board with respect to local rivals Ankaragucu,  {see this article (from};  {see this article  (from}.].

On the map,  I have included a photo of each club’s stadium.  If possible,  I selected an exterior shot of the stadium,  to give a view of the surroundings of each location.  Kayserispor’s Kaydar Has Stadyumu is brand new;  the photo I used is from last winter,  and shows the now-completed structure about three-quarters finished.  Here is a photo of the interior of the stadium {click here (; photo by Serkam Erdogan)}.   The stadium will be one of the main assets in Turkey’s bid for hosting a European Championship in the future. 

Also on the map is a list of the largest cities in Turkey,  with population figures.  The cities with 2009-10 SuperLig representation are shown in bold, with the clubs’ crests displayed alongside.  Here is a forum thread with photos, ‘Stadiums in Turkey’ {click here (}.   Here is an article from , ‘Turkish Super Lig Stadium Report’, by Volkan Agir, from October, 2008 {click here}.    This is a English-language blog on the Turkish Super Lig that I just found {click here (}.

Below are two galleries.  The first shows the top Turkish internationals who are currently plying their trade in their homeland.



The second gallery shows the young Turkish-born players most likely to be future stars.


Thanks to The Stadium Guide {click here}.   Thanks to World Stadiums site {click here}.   Thanks to {click here (set at blackbir/dk’s photo of the Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadi)}.   Thanks to {click here (set at photo, unattributed,  of Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen Stadyumu )}.   Thanks to .   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at {click here (set at Super Lig 2009-10 page). 

Thanks to PC Lion FC blog {click here / translated, click here},  and Aceto Balsamico site {click here / translated, click here},  for the many links to posts of mine.   Thanks to Ugur at PCLion FC blog for help in selecting the lists of players in the two galleries.

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}.

November 11, 2008

2008-’09 Turkiye Kupasi (Turkish Cup), 3rd Round: Zoom Map of all 20 clubs in the 4 Groups.

Filed under: Turkey,Zoom Maps — admin @ 10:03 am


A slate of matches in the Turkish Cup’s 3rd Round are to be played on the 11th through the 13th of November.  The 3rd Round is unusual for a European national Cup competition in that it is in a league format.  The 20 clubs still in the competition have been split up into 4 groups.  The top four 07/08 Super Lig finishers are seeded, and placed in seperate groups.  Those clubs are:  Galatasary (reigning champions),  2nd place finishers Fenerbahce,  3rd place finishers Besiktas,  and 4th place finishers Sivasspor

Teams play all four other teams in their group,  with the top two advancing to the 4th Round,  which is a standard knockout competition.

In this season’s 3rd Round,  there are 6 clubs from the lower leagues,  including 2 clubs that are in the 3rd Level (which is called the TFF Second League):  Tokatspor and Alanyaspor.  

Four clubs are from the the 2nd Level,  which is known as the TFF First League,  but is officially called the Bank Asya 1. Lig.    Altay SK of Izmir,  has won the Cup twice,  the last time in 1980. 

Here is Wikipedia’s page on the Turkiye Kupasi,  which includes a list of all the clubs that have won the Turkish Cup  {Click here}.

Cup holders are the central Anatolian club Kayserispor.  One interesting sub-plot in the Turkish Cup is the perennial failure of giants Fenerbahce to win the Cup,  for 25 years running.  In 2005,  Fenerbahce was demolished by Galataaray 5-1.  Fenerbahce then lost the next year to Besiktas,  3-2 in AET.   A Galatasaray supporter sent me this image of his fellow fans mocking Fenerbahce’s cup history,  the inference being that they haven’t won the Cup since the Stone Age  {see this}.

Thanks to the pclion fc site  {Click here},  for information and images.

Thanks to the Soccerway site for fixtures and results  {Click here}.

September 24, 2008

Turkey: The Clubs in the 2008-’09 Super Lig.

Filed under: Turkey — admin @ 5:36 pm


Turkey’s Super Lig is currenty playing it’s 51st season.  The reigning champions are Galatasaray. 

The Big 3 of Turkey are all clubs from Istanbul… 

Fenerbahce plays on the Asian side of the Bosporus Strait.  Their name means “lighthouse garden”.  The club draws extremely well (39,500 in ’07),  and are a fixure in the Champions League.  Their manager , since 2006,  has been Brazilian great Zico.  In the 07/08 CL,  Fenerbahce finally advanced to the 2nd Round,  where they beat Sevilla;  they then lost to Chelsea in the Quarter-Finals.  {Click here, for Wikipedia’s page on Fenerbahce.}  

Galatasaray and Besiktas are both on the European side of the Bosporous.   Besiktas draws much higher than Galatasaray (in 06/07, Besiktas drew 26,200;  Galatasaray drew 16,300).   But Galatasary are the more successful club.  Their 17 titles equals Fenerbahce for the most in Turkey.   The only other club to win the crown is the Black Sea club Trabzonspor,  from northeast Anatolia.  But they last won the title in 1984. 

Below are two charts,  both originally from Wikipedia.  I added a column for the last year the club won the title.  I kept the clubs’ names in Wikipedia’s font,  so the ligatures could be seen in the letters in the names of clubs such as Fenerbahce, Besiktas, and Genclerbirgli  (my keyboard doesn’t have this capability). 


The winner of the Turkish Cup gets to play in the UEFA Cup 1st Round.   The cup final is a two-legged affair;  the 3rd round is grouped into a round-robin style.   

The 2008 Turkish Cup was won by the central Anatolian club Kayserispor.   They defeated Ankara-based Genclerbirgli on penalties, 11-10,  to win it.   [One note: In 1967,  Altay SK won the cup over Goztepe SK via a coin toss.]


Here is the Turkish Super Lig table {Click here (Soccer Stats site) }.

Here is a site called Turkey (Turkiye) football (soccer) Column and News {Click here}.   The Thursday, September 18 post covers the 4 Turkish clubs currently playing in Europe…Fenerbahce in the Champions League;  and Galatasaray,  Besiktas,  and Kayserispor in the UEFA Cup. 

Thanks to the site,,  which links up to this site.

Thanks to the European Football Statistics site {Click here}, for the attendance figures,  such as they are.  Hopefully, there will be some gate figures reported for this season,  so I can make a more up-to-date attendance map next spring.  

June 18, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Turkey- Squad Map.

Filed under: Turkey,UEFA Euro 2008 — admin @ 6:10 pm


Kudos to the Turkey National Team, for their two consecutive come-from-behind victories in Euro 2008.  They beat Switzerland 2-1 on 11th June , and stunned the Czechs last Sunday, 15th June, by coming back from a 0-2 deficit, to win 3-2.  Nihat Kahveci pounced on a rare Peter Cech miscue, in the 87th minute.  Nihat then curled a fantastic shot from the top of the penalty area, in the 89th minute.  {See this article (uefa Euro 2008 site)}.

Turkey will now face Croatia, in a Quarter-Final match, on Friday 20th June, in Vienna, Austria.

The map includes the 12 largest cities in Turkey (500,000 population, or more).  {Click here, for the full list of Turkish cities (Mongabay site.

{Click here, for modern history/ demographics/info on the country of Turkey {CIA World Fact Book site}.}

Thanks to the UEFA site, for the Turkish Team kits.

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