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‘ (

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