The Big Three of Turkish Football

The Big Three of Turkish Football

The Big Three of Turkish Football

The Big Three of Turkish Football

Football in Turkey can be the most important sport for the Turkish people. People from every social-economic background, every culture, and every gender grow up playing football in Turkey. It’s almost every little Turkish boy’s dream to be a football player. Every match has its importance and gets followed with great ambition.

However, three primary teams dominate Turkish football. These teams have maintained a stable level of quality over the last century and are called the Big Three of Turkish football. These teams are Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, and Beşiktaş. As they are successful nationwide, these teams manage to reach levels of recognition and success in the whole world. These teams have large fanbases and fanatics that support them.

All of these teams originate from Istanbul and have their stadiums in different locations of the city. Usually, the champion of the Turkish league is one of these teams as there is a never-ending rivalry between them. 54 of 61 seasons have been won by these teams. Most of the Turkish population and people interested in football mainly choose to side with one of these teams early on in their life. With the vision of their families or friends, even children support one of these three teams. Ever since 1959, all of these teams were in the main league.

While the lowest rank that Fenerbahçe got was 10, it was 11 for Galatasaray and Beşiktaş. The great rivalry that gets shared between the big three and their supporters creates a joyful competition and a community to be part of. Without the big three, Turkish football would not have the value it has as of our day. Let us take a closer look at the teams of the Big Three.


Founded on 3 May 1907, Fenerbahçe is a major Turkish multi-sport club based mainly on football. With continuing success, Fenerbahçe has a total of 12 international titles. The football club of Fenerbahçe has 64 national trophies and some distinguishable international awards. Fenerbahçe has a strong fanbase both inside and outside of Turkey. With more than millions of fans, Fenerbahçe has more than half a million paid members. Fenerbahçe’s current stadium is the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Sports Complex, and their mascot is a canary.

Fenerbahçe originates from a neighborhood in Kadıköy district, the Asian side of the city. Fenerbahçe was initially founded by the contributions of Ziya Songülen, Ayetullah Bey, and Necip Okaner. The first match that Fenerbahçe had was against the staff of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. 


With its red and yellow colors, Galatasaray is one of the biggest football teams in Turkey. Galatasaray was founded on 1 October 1905 by Ali Sami Yen and other students of Galatasaray Highschool. This football team was established with the help of the renowned Galatasaray Highschool, which is one of the oldest high schools in Turkey. As Galatasaray is active in many sports other than football, it has 15 European titles. Galatasaray is the only football club in Turkey to win the UEFA Super Cup. Galatasaray currently holds the most Turkish League Cups. Its main stadium is the Türk Telekom Arena, and its mascot is a lion.



Based on the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Beşiktaş is the oldest football team out of big three founded on 3 March 1903. Being one of the most successful football teams in Turkey, it has 15 Turkish League cups. Its latest victory was during the 2016-2017 season. Its stadium is located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul with the name of Vodafone Park, having 41.903 capacity. Beşiktaş has one of the biggest fanbases, named Çarşı. This community manages to be active in various parts of the society, planning events and contributing to numerous fundraisers. With the mascot of an eagle, Beşiktaş is among the biggest football teams in Turkey.