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A look at Sports in Turkey

5th July 2015

Sports fans rejoice Turkey is a country rich and diverse in sport and you’ll find a number of passionate fans that will no doubt share your love of sport (no matter what sport that is)

The national game of Turkey is football but don’t worry if you’re not a fan there’s plenty of other sports loved by many in Turkey, this includes: basketball, wrestling and volleyball among others.

So there’s something for everyone no matter what sport you enjoy plus with so many different sport activities going on each day you might discover a love for a sport you’d never considered before. So let’s take a look at some on the fun sporting events and activities you can enjoy on your Turkish holiday.


Football is the most popular sport in Turkey and you’ll find fans of it everywhere the big three domestic teams are; Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray and there’s a number of famous players who have played or continue to play in Turkey to this day.
Some of these world class players include names like; Roberto Carlos, Lucas Neill, Milan Baros and Harry Kewell.

The three big teams are all housed in Istanbul so depending on when you’re visiting you might get the chance to see the teams play. A number of restaurants and bars also broadcast matches on wide screen TV’s so if you can’t get tickets to the stadium then you can enjoy a drink while watching with locales.
The port and resort town of Marmaris also has a number of sports bars that show the big matches so if you’re staying in or around Marmaris you’ll definitely want to check them out.


It might not have reached the heights of football yet but basketball is a rising star in the sports world of Turkey. Turkey came second in the European Basketball Championship held in 2001 and later hosted the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
The Turkish Basketball League (TBL) is also very popular in Turkey and there’s a variety of opportunities to buy tickets so you can enjoy a traditional Turkish basketball game. There’s also a number of gyms and sports centres with their own basketball courts so if you and a group of friends want to shoot some hoops then you could always stop by for a game or two.


Turkish wrestling is a sport you may have heard of in the past and one with a rich history in Turkey and it’s very different from the more scripted American wrestling. Commonly referred to as oil wrestling (because the wrestlers douse themselves in olive oil before a bout) you’ll find wrestling matches held all year round all over Turkey.
Kırkpınar is an annual wrestling event held in the city of Edirne, in the Turkish region of East Thrace. The annual tournament is held around late June and is a popular spot for wrestling fans and tourists alike that are eager to learn more about the sport.

Not a fan of these don't worry there's plently more

While these three are commonly known as the big three sports in Turkey don’t worry if you’re not a follower of any because there’s many more sports celebrated and practiced. Beach sports like volleyball and water sports like sailing and rafting are also very popular.
You’ll find a number of sporting events held all around Turkey on regular intervals, not to mention there’s plenty or sports centres and gyms that have their own sports facilities. So if you want to lift some weights or enjoy a friendly game of tennis these are the places to visit or you could always set up a friendly game at the beach.

A number of the big name sports events will likely require tickets for entrance and you can search for a number of these tickets and buy them directly from the YellAli homepage. See 'Blletix' -  Middle right of home page


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