Turkey National
Turkey National Football Team

National Team Information

General Info

Ay-Yıldızlılar (The Crescent-Stars)

World Cup Participation

1954, 2002



Turkey National Football Team History

Turkey played their first match ever in 1923 vs. Romania. The game finished in a 2-2 draw as Zeki Riza Sporel scored both of Turkey’s goals. In their first Olympic Games, in 1924, Turkey lost 5-2 in the first round to Czechoslovakia. They failed to advance past the first round until 1948. Two years later, Turkey made their first World Cup appearance. Burhan Sargun scored a hat trick as Turkey defeated South Korea 7-0 but they lost their other two matches. 

Following the 1954 World Cup, the national team went through a rough period. After the 1960 Olympics, they failed to qualify for a major tournament until the 1996 European Championship. They were, however, a point away from qualifying for Euro 1972 and 1976. Turkey were also close to sealing a place in the 1990 World Cup but missed out on the final match. 

With a new generation of Turkish players like Hakan Sukur, Bulent Korkmaz and Rustu Recber, coach Fatih Terim managed to lead Turkey to Euro 1996 qualification. Unfortunately, Turkey lost all of their matches without registering a goal. Turkey qualified for Euro 2000 four years later and managed to reach the quarterfinal for the first time. 

In 2002, in their first World Cup since 1954, Turkey performed exceptionally well under Senol Gunes. Hakan Sukur scored the fastest goal in World Cup history, in 10.7 seconds, as Turkey defeated South Korea 3-2 in the third-place playoff game. In their incredible run to the semifinal, Rustu Recber, Alpay Ozalan and Hasan Sas were selected to the All-Star Team. Turkey also participated in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup and won a bronze medal.

Turkey’s golden generation was phased out of the national team over the coming years and they failed to qualify for both Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. Still, Turkey exceeded expectations at Euro 2008. They lost to Portugal in their first match but late goals sealed wins vs. the Czech Republic and Switzerland. So, Turkey qualified for the quarterfinal for a second time and played in a scoreless draw vs. Croatia. The Croatians led 1-0 in the final minute of extra time but Semih Senturk scored a dramatic late equalizer.

In penalties, Turkey managed to win 3-1 to advance to their first semifinal. There, a depleted Turkey side lost 3-2 to Germany. After an eight-year wait, Turkey returned to a major tournament at Euro 2016. They were on an 18-month unbeaten run before losing a pre-tournament friendly to England. Despite their previous good form, Turkey finished behind both Spain and Croatia in Group D.

Turkey soccer betting has been an up-and-down endeavor in recent years. The Crescent-Stars finished at the bottom of their Nations League B group in 2018-19 but a format change meant they stayed in the B League. They also lost all three of their matches at Euro 2020 and got relegated in the 2020-21 Nations League. Turkey have since returned to Nations League B by finishing 4-1-1 in the 2022-23 Nations League C.

Turkey National Flag
Turkey Soccer

Turkey Soccer Leagues & Clubs:

The top-tier Turkish soccer league is called the Super Lig. Nineteen teams are competing in the league in the 2022-23 season in a double round-robin format. The champions of the league qualify for the Champions League group stage. The second and third-place teams currently earn a berth in the UEFA Conference League qualifiers. The bottom three teams are also relegated to the second tier at the end of each season.

Super Lig Clubs 2023
Adana Demirspor
Fatih Karagümrük
İstanbul Başakşehir
Ümraniyespor Istanbul

The second-tier league in Turkish football is called the TFF First League. There are also 19 clubs in the TFF First League as of the 2022-23 season. The top two teams earn promotion to the Super Lig at the end of each season. Meanwhile the third to sixth-place teams contest a playoff to determine the third promoted team. The bottom four teams go down to the TFF Second League.

TFF First League Clubs 2022-2023
Ankara Keçiörengücü
Çaykur Rizespor
Altaş Denizlispor
Erzurumspor FK
Yeni Malatyaspor

Turkish Cups & Tournaments

Turkey Soccer Betting Information

Betting on the Turkey Team

Turkey soccer betting has declined in popularity over the last few years but the Super Lig is still a decent option. Soccer clubs in Turkey have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic which has meant some of the traditional powers have struggled in recent seasons. To highlight that fact, two of the last three champions are outside of the traditional “big three”. Istanbul Basaksehir won their first-ever title in the 2019-20 season and Trabzonspor won for the first time since 1983-84 in 2021-22. 

Usually, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas dominate the league. The three Istanbul clubs have each won over 20 league titles and are regulars in the Champions League. However, the Super Lig’s declining profile means that only one team qualifies for the UCL for the time being. Although the league has gone through a tough period, plenty of high-profile players have passed through the Turkish league. Didier Drogba, Mesut Ozil, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie have all played in Turkey in the last decade. 

The Super Lig is a relatively balanced league with a good amount of parity over the last few seasons. The league also has a balanced scoring profile, with 54 percent of matches finishing with three or more goals in 2021-22. Both teams scored 57 percent of the time in the 2021-22 season. There was also quite a big home-field advantage in 2021-22 as home teams won 47 percent of the time. Away teams won 29 percent of the time and 24 percent of matches ended in draws.

Turkey National Team Betting Tips & Odds

Turkey have a decent shot to qualify for Euro 2024

Betting tips suggest that Turkey have a decent shot to qualify for Euro 2024. They’re in a group with Croatia, Wales, Armenia and Latvia and will qualify if they finish in the top two. Even if they don’t, they’re assured of making the playoff due to their first-place finish in the recent Nations League C. Players like Hakan Calhanoglu, Cengiz Under and Caglar Soyuncu are key for the Crescent-Stars. 

In their last two major tournament appearances, Turkey have gone just 1-5. Still, qualifying for Euro 2024 would mark a third straight appearance in the Euros. They haven’t made an appearance in the World Cup since 2002, though. In 2022, they advanced to the playoff semifinal but lost to Portugal. They’ve got a fair bit of talent but expectations should be tempered for World Cup 2026.

Turkey’s results have been up and down lately. They managed wins over Scotland and the Czech Republic in 2022 but also drew vs. Luxembourg and lost to the Faroe Islands. This frustrating inconsistency has certainly hurt them.


The Turkish Super Lig is certainly an option for bettors looking outside of the top four European leagues. There are typically some high-profile players in the league and a handful of very good teams. 

Meanwhile, betting on the Turkish national team is a mixed bag. Although, they did finish 2022 on an 18-game scoring streak. Look out for them in Euro 2024 qualifiers because they’re in a favorable group.

Turkey National Team FAQS

Is sports betting legal in Turkey?

Sports betting is legal but is a state monopoly. Offshore sportsbooks do also accept Turkish customers.

Is in-play betting allowed in Turkey?

 Yes, live betting is an option in Turkey

Who is the Turkish Super Lig’s all-time top scorer?

With 249 goals, Hakan Sukur is the Turkish Super Lig’s top all-time scorer.

Which Turkish team has won the most championships?

Fenerbahce have won a record 28 Turkish championships.

What is football called in Turkey?

Football is simply called futbol in Turkey.
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