It was British residents who first introduced soccer to Turkey. Turkish youth, took to the new game with enthusiasm, and over the course of the 20th century, a highly intense and individualistic footballing culture and community slowly emerged.
Initially viewed with suspicion and as a subversive distraction by the authorities. It didn't take long before a group of students at Galatasaray High School sat down and formed an official football club. The club later became UEFA Cup winners and European powers Galatasaray SK.
Istanbul fast became the focal point for a burgeoning Turkish football fever, and the city’s “second” side, Fenerbahçe SK, came into being shortly after their cross-town neighbors Galatasaray in 1907.
In 1923 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire Turkey established a national football federation. The aim was to organise Turkish football for the future good of the game in Turkey. However this transformation was to take longer than first envisaged. It was 1950 before the Turkish league adopted a standard format. 1952 saw the beginning of the Professional football league in Turkey. Adopting the format used in Western Europe of a league system.
Fenerbahçe SK won the first modern national tournament in 1959, and Galatasaray were not far behind in 1963, winning the inaugural Turkish Cup competition.
With the emergence of a professional, competitive domestic league, the Turkish national side began to gain a head of steam. The nation struggled to gain a foothold among Europe’s great powers, but in recent years the Turkish national side has become a force to be reckoned with.
Turkey made her international debut at the 1954 FIFA World Cup Switzerland They managed to defeat Korea 7-0 before losing out to West Germany in a group play-off for a quick trip home.
The Turks are enjoying something of a footballing renaissance now after qualifying for each of the last two UEFA European Championships and reaching the quarter finals of the competition in 2000. Also in 2000, Galatasaray defeated English giants Arsenal in the final of the UEFA Cup, in what may have been a warning to the rest of the world of a new class of Turkish football.
Turkey has in recent years brought in some of the best international players and coaches to build on the success it's teams have been having. This can only serve to push the game in Turkey to new heights.
Some background facts, Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are district names in Istanbul and Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are also names of very good elementary schools in Istanbul. The clubs also have basketball teams, volleyball teams, swimming teams, etc... they also try to promote other kind of sports although soccer is their most important and popular sport
2 Beşiktaş JK
6 BB Ankaraspor
7 Erciyesspor K Kayseri
9 VESTEL Manisa
14 Gençlerbirliği SK Ankara
15 MKE Ankaragücü
18 ÇAYKUR Rizespor