Sports in Turkey
Sports in Turkey have always been popular both in terms of participating and watching. We’ll discuss more details about the impact of sports in Turkey and review some important teams and types.
One of the most popular sports in Turkey has to be soccer (or football as it called). Turkey has several excellent teams including Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas. In particular the Galatasaray team showed that they are a force to be reckoned with worldwide by winning the UEFA Curp and UEFA Super Cup.
And in 2002, the Turkish national team finished third in the FIFA World Cup. Then a few years later in 2008, the national team was able to reach the semi finals of the UEFA Euro competition.
Other popular sports in Turkey include basketball and volleyball. Turkey hosted the finals of EuroBasket in 201 as well as the 201 FIBA World Championships. Their men’s national team finished second in both events.
The Turkish national team also reached the quarter finals of the 2006 World Championships. A number of Turkish basketball players including Mehmet Okur and Hidayet Turkoglu have successfully transitioned to the NBA.
Women’s volleyball teams such as Eczacibasi and Vakcifbank Gunes Sigorta have developed a strong presence and following. They have also won many European championship titles.
A traditional Turkish sport called Yagli gures has been around since the Ottoman Empire. It is known as oiled wrestling. One tournament hosted annually has been around since 1361. In addition, international wrestling governed by the FILA such as freestyle wrestling and Greco Roman wrestling are popular as well. Many European, World and Olympic titles have been won by Turkish wrestlers.
And weightlifting has been growing as an important sport in Turkey. A number of male and female Turkish weightlifters have broken important world and European records over recent years. Two Turkish weightlifters have had the unique ability to have won three gold medals each in three Olympics.
The country promotes the sport heavily so promising young athletes become involved at an early age and develop their skills and expertise over many years of serious training and commitment. Turkey is very proud of the achievements from these dedicated athletes.
Another sport which has been gaining in popularity is motorsports. Events like the Rally of Turkey, FIA World Rally Championships and the inclusion of Turkish Grand Prix to the Formula One racing circuit has done a great deal to expand the interest and support of this sport.
Other motorsport events included the MotoGP Grand Prix or Turkey, the FIA World Touring Car Championship, GP2 series, and the Le Mans series. Powerboat racing is sometimes held in Istanbul and Antalya along with F1 Powerboat racing championship and the Red Bull Air Race World Series which is an air racing venue. Not only are these events enjoyed by visitors but the local population are strong supporters.
You can also find many enthusiastic participants enjoying surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, paragliding, and other extreme sports. The country certainly has a broad and enthusiastic audience for many kinds of sports.