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Turkish Süper Lig

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Turkish Süper Lig

Spor Toto Süper Lig
Country Turkey
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1959[1]
First season 1959 Milli Lig
Number of teams 18
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to 1. Lig
Domestic cup(s) Türkiye Kupası
Süper Kupa
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Galatasaray
Most championships Galatasaray (19 titles)
Most capped player Oğuz Çetin (503 matches)[2]
Top goalscorer Hakan Şükür (249 goals)[3]
TV partners Lig TV
TRT (Highlights only)
MP & Silva (Global highlights)
Website Süper Lig
2013–14 Süper Lig

The Süper Lig (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈsypæɾ liɟ], Super League) is a Turkish professional league for association football clubs. It is the top-flight of the Turkish football league system. It is one of the top leagues in the UEFA confederation, and the winner of the competition automatically qualifies for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Eighteen clubs compete annually, where a champion is decided and three clubs are promoted and relegated to and from the 1. Lig. The season runs from August to May, with each club playing 34 matches. Matches are played Friday through Monday. It is sponsored by Spor Toto and therefore officially known as the Spor Toto Süper Lig.[4] The competition formed as the Milli Lig in 1958. It was the first national league competition held in Turkey. Previously, league competitions took place in a few cities, including Adana, Ankara, Eskişehir, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, and Trabzon. It is currently ranked 11th in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years. A total of 66 clubs have competed in the Süper Lig, but just 5 have won the title: Galatasaray (19 times), Fenerbahçe (17), Beşiktaş (13), Trabzonspor (7) and Bursaspor (1).


Football in Turkey stems back to the late 19th century, when Englishmen brought the game with them while living in Thessaloníki. The first league competition was the Istanbul Football League, which took place in 1904–05. The first champions were Imogene FC. The league went through several variations until the creation of the Milli Lig in 1959. Between the creation of the Istanbul Football League and Milli Lig, several other city leagues took place: Adana (1923), Ankara (1923), Eskişehir (1920), Izmir (1923), Kayseri (1936), and Trabzon (1923). The Milli Küme was the first step towards a national league competition.

Started in 1937, the Milli Küme was an inter-city competition between clubs in Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir. The competition lasted until 1950. The Federation Cup was created in 1956 and used as a cup competition to decide a champion. This champion would go on to participate in the European Cup. The cup competition was held for two years until it was replaced by the Milli Lig. Beşiktaş won both times, and represented twice Turkey in the European Cup during the two-year span.[5][6][7]

The top clubs from Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir competed in the 1959 Milli Lig. The first season took place in the calendar year of 1959, instead of 1958-59, because the qualifying stages took place in 1958. The 16 clubs who competed in the first season were: Adalet (İstanbul), Altay (İzmir), Ankaragücü, Ankara Demirspor, Beşiktaş (İstanbul), Beykoz (İstanbul), Fatih Karagümrük (İstanbul), Fenerbahçe (İstanbul), Galatasaray (İstanbul), Gençlerbirliği (Ankara), Göztepe (İzmir), Hacettepe (Ankara), İstanbulspor, İzmirspor, Karşıyaka (İzmir Province) and Vefa (Istanbul). Just 4 of those clubs are competing in the most recent 2012–13 Süper Lig: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Gençlerbirliği. The first champions were Fenerbahçe and the first Gol Kralı (Goal King) was Metin Oktay. No clubs were promoted or relegated at the end of the first season.[8]

The 2.Lig (Second League) was created at the start of the 1963–64 season and the Milli Lig or Turkish National League became known as the 1.Lig (First League). Before the creation of a second league, the bottom three clubs competed with regional league winners in a competition called the Baraj Games. The top three teams of the seven team group were promoted to the Milli Lig. After the creation of a new second division in 2001, known as the 1.Lig, the formerly titled 1.Lig became the Süper Lig.[9]

Super ligs biggest teams are Trabzonspor, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas. Galatasaray have 19 champions and are last champions last year 2012-2013 season. Trabzonspor have 7 champions and are last champion in 2010-2011 season with 82 points. So Trabzonspor is the last team who is champion before Galatasaray. Fenerbahce have 17 champions and are last champions in 2006-2007 season. Besiktas are last champions in 2008-2009 season. Fenerbahce and Besiktas are currently kicked out from UEFA tournaments. Fenerbahce are kicked out in 2 years because match fixing in 2010-2011 season. So because that some persons named Fenerbahce "Sikebahce" Besiktas are kicked out 2 years because match fixing in 2010-2011 Ziraat Turkey Tournament Final.

Competition format

There are 18 clubs in the Süper Lig. During the course of the season (from August to May) each club plays the others twice (a double round robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to head record and then goal difference determine the winner. The three lowest placed teams are relegated to the 1.Lig and the top two teams from the 1.Lig, together with the winner of play-offs involving the third to sixth placed 1.Lig clubs, are promoted in their place.[10]

Qualification for European competitions

As of the start of the 2012–13 Süper Lig season qualification for European competitions is as follows: champions qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, runners-up qualify for the third qualifying round of the Champions League, third place qualifies for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, and fourth place qualifies for the second qualifying round of the same competition. A fifth spot is given to the winner of the Turkish Cup, who qualify for the play-off round of the Europa League. If the Turkish Cup winner has already qualified for European competition through their league finish, then the runners-up take their place in the play-off round. If the runners-up have also qualified, the next highest placed club in the league takes their place.

  • 09 Ukrainian Premier League (45.133)
  • 10 Super League Greece (37.100)
  • 11 Süper Lig (34.050)
  • 12 Belgian Pro League (32.400)
  • 13 Danish Superliga (27.525)
  • 14 Swiss Super League (26.800)


The following 18 clubs will compete in the Süper Lig during the 2013–14 season.

Club City
in top
First season
current spell
top division
Akhisar Belediyespor Akhisar 02114th 2012-13 2 2012-13
Medical Park Antalyaspor Antalya 0097th 1982-83 19 2008–09
Beşiktaşa, b İstanbul 0043rd 1959 56 1959 13 2008–09
Bursaspor Bursa 0014th 1967–68 45 2006–07 1 2009–10
Çaykur Rizespor Rize 0112nd in the TFF First League 1967-68 14 2013–14
Elazığspor Elazığ 02113th 2002-03 4 2012-13
Eskişehirspor Eskişehir 0078th 1966–67 28 2008–09
Fenerbahçea, b İstanbul 0022nd 1959 56 1959 17 2006-07
Galatasaraya, b İstanbul 0031st 1959 56 1959 19 2012–13
Gaziantepspor Gaziantep 01310th 1978–79 28 1990–91
Gençlerbirliğia Ankara 01011th 1959 42 1989–90
Kardemir Demir Çelik Karabükspor Karabük 01915th 1993–94 7 2010–11
Kasımpaşa İstanbul 0226th 1959-60 10 2012-13
Kayseri Erciyesspor Kayseri 0061st in the TFF First League 2005–06 3 2013–14
Kayserispor Kayseri 0085th 1973–74 18 2004–05
Konyaspor Konya 020TFF First League playoff winner 1988-89 13 2013–14
Sivassporb Sivas 01512th 2005–06 9 2005–06
Trabzonsporb Trabzon 0059th 1974–75 40 1974–75 7 2010-11
  • a: Founding member of the Süper Lig
  • b: Never been relegated from the Süper Lig


Just 5 clubs have been champions since the beginning of the Super League in 1959: Galatasaray 19 times, Fenerbahçe 17 times, Beşiktaş 11 (with an additional two championships counted in the two years before the league was formed for a total of 13, see note below), Trabzonspor 7 and Bursaspor 1 time.[11]

Team/stars Winners Runners-up Years won
19 9 1962, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013
17 19 1959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007
13 14 1957*, 1958*, 1960, 1966, 1967, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2009
7 6 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 2011
Bursaspor 1 0 2010

*NOTE: Fenerbahce SK were relieved of its 2010-2011 Süper Lig Championship due to a match-fixing scandal that was revealed on 3 July 2011. The 2010-2011 Süper Lig Championship was declared as Trabzonspor after UEFA declined the entrance of Fenerbahce SK to the UEFA Champions League and instead allowed for Trabzonspor to be replaced as the Turkish Champions.

*NOTE: Beşiktaş formally requested that championships won in the 1956/57 and 1957/58 versions of the Turkish Federation Cup be counted as Turkish Professional First Division championships to the Turkish Football Federation. The ruling on this matter was announced in a press release on March 25, 2002 which indicated that the championships won by Beşiktaş in the Turkish Federation Cup will be considered as national championships but the Turkish Federation Cup can not be considered as the precursor to the Turkish Professional First Division (later named Süper Lig) and as such these titles can not be categorized as a Turkish Professional First Division (or Süper Lig) titles. Based on this ruling, the Turkish Federation Cup wins by Beşiktaş count towards the star rating system, giving Beşiktaş two more championships for the purposes of the star rating system than the number of Süper Lig titles won by the club.

Star rating system

Clubs are permitted to place a golden star above their crest on their uniforms for every five national championships won. For the 2012/13 season Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray are permitted three golden stars, Beşiktaş are permitted two golden stars and Trabzonspor are permitted one golden star to be placed above their crest on their jerseys.[12]

Participation in the league (End of 2012-13 season)

Teams in bold play in 2013-14 Süper Lig.

All-time top scorers

Rank Player Goals[14] Apps Rate
1 Turkey Hakan Şükür 249 487 0.51
2 Turkey Tanju Çolak 240 276 0.87
3 Turkey Hami Mandıralı 219 465 0.47
4 Turkey Metin Oktay 217 253 0.86
5 Turkey Aykut Kocaman 200 353 0.57
6 Turkey Feyyaz Uçar 191 376 0.51
7 Turkey Serkan Aykut 188 337 0.56
8 Turkey Fevzi Zemzem 144 305 0.47
9 Turkey Cenk İşler 137 349 0.39
10 Brazil Alexsandro de Souza 136 241 0.56

As of 30 October 2012 (Bold denotes players still playing in the league).

All-time most appearances

Rank Player Apps[14] Years
1 Turkey Oğuz Çetin 503 1981–2000
2 Turkey Rıza Çalımbay 495 1980–1996
3 Turkey Hakan Şükür 488 1987–2000, 2003–2008
4 Turkey Kemal Yıldırım 476 1976–1995
5 Turkey Hami Mandıralı 475 1984–1998, 1999–2003
6 Turkey Recep Çetin 437 1984–2001
7 Turkey Mehmet Nas 431 1997–
8 Turkey Bülent Korkmaz 430 1988–2005
9 Turkey Müjdat Yetkiner 429 1979–1995
10 Turkey Ömer Çatkıç 428 1995–2012

As of 6 October 2013 (Bold denotes players still playing in the league).

See also


External links

  • Turkish Football Magazine - Online magazine to read the top articles about Turkish football in English (English)
  • News About Turkish Football Leagues (English)
  • Spor Toto Süper Lig Web oficial (Turkish)
  • Turkish Football Federation website (Turkish)
  • Canlı Skorlar (Turkish)

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