The meaning behind Turkey’s most popular football team badges

Soccer symbols: The meaning behind Turkey’s most popular football team badges

Although perhaps lacking the star power of some of the more well-known European club leagues, for soccer fans in the know, Turkish club football is home to some of the most exciting football currently being played. Turkish club soccer also has the unique honor of having some of the most intense fans, rivalling even the Brazilians for the intensity of their sporting obsession!

This perhaps helps to explain why sports betting sites get flooded as soon as the Super Lig kicks off, with eager — if not obsessive — Turkish fans hoping to take advantage of the best soccer odds as early as possible. 

Win, lose or draw, Turkish soccer fans are just about as diehard as they come. With some even arguing that their intense soccer fandom has deep links to Turkish cultural values.

As an indication of the intensity of Turkish soccer fan’s passion — if not insanity — a staggering 25,000 Galatasaray fans greeted the Colombian Radamel Falcao when he touched down in Turkey to join his new team. This is particularly intense when you consider the fact that Falcao had not even started playing for the team yet — this was just his welcome party!

It is this die-hard passion that makes Turkish soccer so exciting to watch. Even when broadcast live on TV from the other side of the world, the passion is both palpable and infectious.

This passion also makes learning about the origins of the most popular Turkish football teams a particularly interesting topic, given how closely connected local communities are to their home teams. With many of these teams having histories stretching back well over a century, these ties are deep.

With that said, let’s take a look at the history behind the logos of the most popular Turkish football team badges:

Galatasaray Spots Club

Galatasaray is an Istanbul-based club that was founded in 1905. With a total of 21 championships to their name, they are also one of the most decorated Turkish football teams. In addition to their success on the domestic circuit, they have also had the most success in Europe — even being the first Turkish team to secure a European cup win.

In terms of the history of their logo, there are a number of elements to note which point to this team’s illustrious history. 

The current crest format emerged in 1925 when it was designed by Ayetullah Emin, which replaced an earlier version drawn up when the team was founded.

Perhaps most notably, however, the rich gold and red crest is adorned with four stars at the top of the ‘G’ and ‘S’ lettering — with G and S being a reference to ‘Galatasaray’ and ‘Spor’.

These four stars are a reference to the 20th championship victory they secured in the 2014-15 Süper Lig season. Each of the stars represents five of their championship victories, with Galatasaray being the first and only Turkish club to have achieved this feat. As such, they are the Turkish team with the most stars on their crest — much to the dismay of Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe fans everywhere!

Fenerbahçe Sports Club

Galatasaray’s closest rival is Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü, a team based in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul.

Fenerbahçe is one of the oldest and most successful multi-sport clubs in Turkey, however it is their football team that has become the most well-known on the international stage. As of writing, Fenerbahçe has amassed 19 Süper Lig, six Turkish Cup and nine Turkish Super Cup titles. 

Founded in 1907, just two years after Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe’s crest has a long history attached to it.

It was designed by Hikmet Topuzer in 1910, who had also played as a left-winger for the team. In a reference to Turkish culture, the white section represents purity and open-heartedness, with red symbolizing love and loyalty to the club. It also evokes the rich red of the Turkish national flag. The yellow section symbolizes envy of the club, while navy evokes nobility.

The oak leaf rises from the navy section, which symbolizes the force and power of the club. Oak leaves are also a symbol of wisdom, strength and endurance.

Beşiktaş Sports Club

Beşiktaş is the third major soccer team in Turkey and was founded in 1903. It forms the third part of the major Istanbul football rivalry, with Beşiktaş being based in the Beşiktaş district.

Beşiktaş has also enjoyed considerable success, having won 16 Süper Lig, three Turkish National Division and two Turkish Football Championships.

The logo of the Beşiktaş also has a rich history. Beşiktaş was the first sports club registered in the country and one of the few that earned the right to wear the Turkish flag on its crest. The stars at the top of the crest represent five of the Club’s Süper Lig wins.

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