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Turkish Super League: History & Format of the Super Lig

Super League, Turkey’s worth of top-level football in the league. In the league where 20 teams compete in a season, the double-stage league method is applied, in which each team plays two matches against the others. Located on the top row while team champion last four ranked team League 1’e falling, it rises to 1.

If three teams in the league to fight Super League next season. The 2020-21 season of the Süper Lig, which is an organization that lasts for nine months, including August and May, consists of 40 weeks and 420 matches. With the end of the 2018-19 season, the league is in 10th place in the UEFA countries ranking and has been placed 2nd in the UEFA Champions League. It sends 3 teams to the UEFA Europa League. A team that is the champion of the Turkish Cup but cannot enter the top 4 can also participate in the UEFA Europa League.

Organized in 1959 with the participation of 16 teams from the regional leagues of Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, the first season was called the National League. While the name of the Turkish 1st Football League in the 1962-63 season and the Super League at the beginning of the 2001-02 season was started to be used, after this period, the name of the sponsor was added to the beginning of the league name due to the support of different sponsors. Over time, it has undergone various changes in terms of the number of participants and format.

Six teams in the Super League, where 73 teams have competed so far; Galatasaray (22), Fenerbahçe (19), Beşiktaş (16), Trabzonspor (6), Bursaspor (1) and Istanbul Başakşehir (1) took the championship title. Besiktas is the team that won the championship in the 2020-21 season.

Basic Information On Süper Lig

EstablishmentFebruary 21, 1959
Number of teams20
Lower league1. League
Local trophy(s)Turkish Cup, Super Cup
International cupUEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA European Conference League
Last championBesiktas ( 2020-21 )
Most successful teamGalatasaray (22 times)
Most playedHope Cloud (515)
Top scorerHakan Sukur (249)
Official sitetff.org

Süper Lig History

Starting Phase

The first national football tournament in Turkey, in which teams from various cities took part, was held from 1924 to 1951 under the name Turkish Football Championship. The National Cluster was organized between 1937 and 1950; Top-ranked teams in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir football leagues were participating.

With the adoption of professional football in 1951, professional leagues were established first in Istanbul in 1952, and in Ankara and Izmir in 1955.

Champion Clubs Cup started with the 1955-56 season to determine the team that will participate in the 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons from Turkey, the Federation Cup, in which teams from three regional professional leagues competed, was organized. Beşiktaş was the champion team in both seasons of this organization that lasted for two seasons.

The Founding Year

After Orhan Şeref Apak became the chairman of the Turkish Football Federation, studies were started for the establishment of a national league. The National League, which was originally planned to start in 1960, was decided to start in 1959 with the decision taken by the federation in April 1958 and replace the Federation Cup.

After the last professional regional leagues were organized in the 1958-59 season, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Karagümrük (today Fatih Karagümrük), Istanbulspor, Beşiktaş, Beykoz (today Beykoz 1908 SK) completed the Istanbul Professional League in the top 8, justice(today’s name Alibeyköyspor) and Vefa, with the participation of Ankara Demirspor, Ankaragücü, Gençlerbirliği and Hacettepe (today Keçiörengücü) who completed the Ankara Professional League in the top 4, and Karşıyaka, Altay, İzmirspor and Göztepe, who completed the İzmir Professional League in the top 4 places.

The first season of the National League was held in 1959. In the season where 16 teams competed, the teams were divided into two groups called white and red, and each team in the groups faced each other away. Fenerbahçe became the first champion of the league after the two-legged final between Fenerbahçe, the leader of the white group, and Galatasaray, the leader of the red group.

Before the 1959-60 season, it was decided to increase the number of teams in the league to 20. In this context, Kasımpaşa, Şeker Hilal (today Turanspor), Feriköy and Altınordu, who took the first four places in the final group of the 6-team Federation Cup formed after the qualifying groups in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, qualified to play in the league in the 1959-60 season won.

The previous season unlike the dual-circuit method to league organized by season Beşiktaş won its first championship in league history. Justice, Hacettepe, and Altınordu in the last three rows of the league; Single-stage jump-off matches were held between the seven teams formed by Eyüp, PTT (today’s name Türk Telekom) and İzmir Demirspor, and Adana Demirspor, which finished first in the Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir leagues, in order to determine the teams that will take part in the National League next season.

At the end of the dam matches, Altınordu, Adana Demirspor, and PTT took the first three places; they qualified to play in the National League the following season. For the first time in the 1960-61 season, a team outside of three cities played in Adana. Adana Demirspor’s team competed in the league. After the end of the season, which witnessed the championship of Fenerbahçe, the dam matches with a similar format to the previous season were held. Altay and Altınordu remained in the league as a result of the dam matches in which the last three Altay, Altınordu and Adana Demirspor and three regional league winners Yeşildirek, Toprakspor, and Kültürspor participated, while Yeşildirek was promoted to the National League.

At the end of the 1961-62 season, when Galatasaray won its first championship, Vefa, Ankara Demirspor, and Şeker Hilal and regional league winners Beyoğlu were in the last three places in the dam matches, Hacettepe and İzmir Demirspor took place. While it was planned that a team would qualify for the league for the next season as a result of these promotion matches, the teams that completed the jump-off matches in the top five places were included in the league, and the number of teams in the league was increased to 22 for the 1962-63 season.

The teams, which were divided into groups called “Red” and “White”, competed according to the double-circuit league method. While the teams that completed the groups in the first six places competed in the Championship Group, the teams that finished in the 7th to 9th place competed in the Classification Group to reveal their rank in the league, while the four teams that completed the regular season in the last two places (10 and 11th) were relegated from the league.

Galatasaray, which completed the championship group in the first place and achieved its second championship in a row; With 105 goals scored, he became the owner of the title of “the team that scored the most goals in a season” in the history of the league.

League Structure

A season in the 21-team Super League starts in August and ends in May. Each of the teams will face each opponent twice during the season. He plays one of these matches in his own field and the other in his opponent’s field. Thus, at the end of a season, while each team plays 40 matches, a total of 420 matches are played. In matches that end with a victory of one side, the winning team receives three points.No points are awarded to the losing team.

If the match ends in a draw, both teams earn one point each. At the end of the season, the teams are ranked according to these points. In the case of a tie, the score advantage obtained in the matches played between the tied teams is checked first. In case the equality continues, the score advantage in the matches between them, the general average they achieved in the league, the number of goals scored in the league, and the number of forfeit losses are taken into account, respectively.

If the tie is not broken despite all these conditions, the winning team will be deemed superior as a result of a one-match elimination competition between the relevant teams, and the final result will be obtained. The team that takes first place at the end of the matches becomes the league champion. The team that finished the league in the last 4 places was relegated to the 1st League to fight the next season, while the 1st League.

The matches in the league start at the times determined by the Turkish Football Federation. Super League matches are administered by a total of six referees, with one middle, two assistant referees, one fourth, and two additional assistant referees behind the goal. Before each match, the National Anthem is sung and a moment of silence, if any, is held before the anthem is sung.

In the 2018-2019 season, the online Video Assistant Referee system will be used in Spor Toto Super League competitions in accordance with the Football Game Rules and the VAR Protocol included in these rules.

Süper Lig Clubs

Teams Participated

Six of the 16 teams in the first season of the league, where 73 teams have competed since the establishment of the league; Altay, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Fatih Karagümrük and Göztepe still compete in the Super League today. Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray have never been relegated since the establishment of the league and have been in the league in all 64 seasons.

Trabzonspor, which rose in the 1974-75 season, Alanyaspor, which rose in the 2016-17 season, Yeni Malatyaspor, which rose to the league in the 2017-18 season, Gaziantep FK, which rose in the 2019-20 season, and Hatayspor, which rose in the 2020-21 season, continued to exist in the league after being promoted to the league.

64 seasonsBeşiktaş , Fenerbahçe , Galatasaray
52 seasonsMKE Ankaragucu
50 seasonsBursaspor
48 seasonsGenclerbirligi , Trabzonspor
42 seasonsAltai
31 seasonsGaziantepspor
30 seasonsEskişehirspor , Göztepe , Samsunspor
26 seasonsAntalyaspor
23 seasonsIstanbulspor
22 seasonsAdanaspor
21 seasonsÇaykur Rizespor , Denizlispor , Konyaspor
20 seasonsBoluspor , Kocaelispor
18 seasonsAdana Demirspor , Kasımpaşa
17 seasonsKayserispor
16 seasonsKarşıyaka , Sivasspor
15 seasonsMersin İdman Yurdu
14 seasonsIstanbul Basaksehir , Vefa , Zonguldakspor
13 seasonsAnkara Demirspor , Kayseri Erciyesspor , Sarıyer
12 seasonsTurk Telekom
11 seasonsDiyarbakirspor , Malatyaspor , Orduspor , Sakaryaspor
10 seasonsAltinordu , Izmirspor , Turanspor , Kardemir Karabukspor
9 seasonsFerikoy , Ankaraspor
8 seasonsBeykoz 1908 , Fatih Karagümrük , Keçiörengücü
7 seasonsAkhisar Belediyespor , Giresunspor
6 seasonsAlanyaspor , Manisaspor
5 seasonsVanspor , Yeni Malatyaspor , Zeytinburnuspor
4 seasonsElazigspor
3 seasonsAydınspor , Bakırköyspor , Çanakkale Dardanel , Erzurumspor , Gaziantep
2 seasonsAkçaabat Sebatspor , Alibeyköyspor , Balıkesirspor , Beyoğluspor , Metropolitan Belediye Erzurumspor , Hacettepe , Hatayspor , Yeşildirek , Yozgatspor
1 seasonBucaspor , Kahramanmaraşspor , MKE Kırıkkalespor , Petrol Ofisi , Siirtspor

Champions Of Süper Lig

ClubChampionshipYears earned
Galatasaray221962, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019
Fenerbahce191959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2014
Besiktas161957, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1967, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2009, 2016, 2017, 2021
Trabzonspor61976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984
Istanbul Basaksehir12020

Süper Lig Player Records

Most Appearances

1Umut Bulut5152001-2011, 2012-
2Oğuz Çetin5031981-2000
3Rıza Çalımbay4941980-1996
4Hakan Şükür4891987-2000, 2003-2008
5Hami Mandıralı4761984-1998, 1999-2003
6Kemal Yıldırım4751976-1995
7Mehmet Nas4471997-2014
8Recep Çetin4371984-2001
9Müjdat Yetkiner4291979-1995
10Bülent Korkmaz4281985-2005

Top Scorers

1Hakan Şükür249488
2Tanju Çolak240282
3Hami Mandıralı219476
4Metin Oktay200246
5Aykut Kocaman200360
6Feyyaz Uçar191376
7Burak Yılmaz188327
8Serkan Aykut188336
9Umut Bulut163515
10Necati Ateş138363


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