Sport in Turkey

Sport in Turkey

The National Sport of Turkey is Yağlı güreş also known as Oiled Wrestling. Since 1362, Edirne hosts one of the oldest sporting tournaments in the world, Kırkpınar Guresleri.


Turkey has risen to prominence in a number of sporting areas in recent decades. Football has seen a rapid transformation earning it third place in the coveted 2002 FIFA World Cup. Its domestic teams are dominated by Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş. Of these, Fenerbahçe's European triumph came in the now defunct 1967 Balkans Cup. Galatasaray has seen the most success, winning the 2000 UEFA Cup and European Super Cup, as well as fielding many of the players for the international team. In recent years, Turkey has exported many of its players into top foreign teams including Inter Milan, Barcelona, Parma, AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen, among others. As well as sending players abroad, the Turkish league has also attracted players into Turkey. World class players such as Gheorghe Hagi, Ariel Ortega, Cláudio Taffarel, Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Gheorghe Popescu, Mario Jardel, Nicolas Anelka, John Carew, Harald 'Toni' Schumacher, Falko Götz, Radomir Antić, Oscar Cordoba, Lincoln, Hakan Şükür, Mateja Kežman, Kleberson, Ricardinho, Roberto Carlos da Silva, Zoran Simovic, Frank De Boer, Rigobert Song and many more have played at some point, or continue to play in Turkey.


Weightlifting has been another successful sport for Turkey, regularly relied upon to provide gold medals in the Olympics. Its most famous weightlifters Naim Suleymanoglu and Halil Mutlu are only two of four weightlifters in the world to have won 3 gold medals in 3 olympics.


Athletics is another fast improving sport, Süreyya Ayhan set the 1500m world record in 2003 and Elvan Abeylegesse set a new 5000m record in 2004.

2012 Olympics

Turkey placed a bid to become a candidate for the 2012 Olympics but was eliminated in the initial rounds. Part of its bid included the building of the 80,000 seater Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul. The stadium hosted the European Champions League final in .

Formula 1

Another major sporting event that takes place in Turkey is the Turkish Grand Prix. The track located at Istanbul has a seating capacity of 155,000 people (biggest in Europe), is just over 5,340 m long and runs anti-clockwise. The track was designed by Hermann Tilke, designer of the Sepang, Bahrain and Shanghai tracks.
GP2 series also include a Turkish Team (Petrol Ofisi FMS International) and a Turkish Driver, Jason Tahincioglu.


Basketball is also gaining popularity in Turkey. Turkey national basketball team came second in European Basketball Championship in 2001 in Istanbul. Turkey national basketball team also came the 9th in 2002 FIBA World Championship. Three Turkish nationals, Ersan Ilyasova, Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur, have achieved success in the prestigious NBA of North America, generally considered the world's top basketball league. Turkey will host the 2010 FIBA World Championship, which could introduce more Turks to the game.
Turkey national basketball team have advanced to quarter finals in 2006 FIBA World Championship.

ailing and boat trips

Turkey has four bordering seas; the Black Sea, Marmara Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, so it not surprising that cruising is a popular sport. There are many cruising charters available. Gulets are traditional motor yachts and gulet holidays are becoming increasingly popular. Best Gulets are build in Marmaris and Bodrum.

cuba diving

Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are the best places to dive. It is also possible to dive to shipwrecks from World War I (with special permission of local authorities) in Gallipoli, Çanakkale.


Turkey's rivers provide perfect conditions for canoeing and rafting, for both beginners and experienced. Some of the best rivers for rafting are: Çoruh, Barhal, Berta, Fırtına, Çolak, Köprüçay, Manavgat, Dragon, Göksu (Silifke), Zamanti, Göksu (Feke), Kızılırmak and Dalaman Çayı.


The bays around Çesme, Alaçati, Bodrum and Datça peninsulas as well as Antalya have ideal wind conditions for windsurfing. Famous windsurfer Cagla Kubat is also from Turkey.


Fishing cannot be done without a license even if you're an amateur. You must apply to have one by submitting some id cards and paying a fee. Details concerning fishing zones, the minimum sizes of fish that can be caught, and the numbers of fish that can be caught per person, can be obtained from the Department of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Especially Aegean and Mediterranean seas are rich fishing areas.


Plane gliding, hang gliding, parachuting, paragliding and single engine flights are catered for as well as services that provide instruction courses. Best areas are Fethiye, Eskişehir, Pamukkale and Istanbul.


Turkey will host the 2009 Fencing World Championship. It will be realized from 16 to 26 of October , in Antalya.

ee also

* [ Turkish Soccer News]
*Turkish Premier Super League
*Turkish Football Federation
*Turkey national football team
*Turkey at the 2004 Summer Olympics
*Yağlı güreş, (Oiled Wrestling)
*Istanbul Cup

External links

* [ Sport in Turkey]

Turkey topics

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