Basketball Teams to Watch In Istanbul

Kerem Tunçeri | © Klearchos Kapoutsis / Flickr
Kerem Tunçeri | © Klearchos Kapoutsis / Flickr
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
29 December 2016

Although Turkey is known for its rowdy soccer matches, it has been part of FIBA Europe since 1936. The Turkish Basketball League, which was founded in 1966, has 16 teams competing with one another with the top team participating in the playoff games. We took a look at the top four that have won the most titles in recent years.

Anadolu Efes

Anadolu Efes is one of the most successful clubs in league history. Established in 1976, the club climbed to the Turkish first division quickly and made its mark by winning the league title in 1978-79. It has gone on to win the Turkish League 13 times, the Turkish Cup 10 times, and the President’s Cup 10 times. Anadolu Efes also has a youth program that has trained such renowned names as NBA player Hedo Türkoğlu and former NBA player Mirsad Türkcan.

Ülker Sports Arena | © David Jones/Flickr


Fenerbahçe, a major multi-sport club, is firstly known for its football team. However, the men’s basketball team has successfully taken its place as active competitor in the Turkish Basketball Super League and EuroLeague. Founded in 1913, Fenerbahçe had its golden moments in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons when it reached the Final Four of the EuroLeague twice. In its other matches, the club has managed to win the Turkish Basketball Super League and the Istanbul Basketball League seven times.

Ülker Sports Arena | © David Jones/Flickr

Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi

Also one of the most successful clubs in Turkish Basketball League’s history, the Istanbul Technical University basketball team won the league’s championship five times. Founded by the president of ITU in 1953, the club lived its golden era during 1967-73 winning five out of six championships. The team has since been relegated to the Regional Basketball League, but its wins in the league have not been surpassed.

Kerem Tunçeri | © Klearchos Kapoutsis / Flickr


Another one of Turkey’s major multi-sport clubs, Galatasaray’s red and yellow colors are an iconic sight in the football stadium. However, its basketball teams are also quite notable, having been crowned the Turkish national champion five times. In 1911 Ahmet Robenson, a sports teacher at the famous Galatasary High School, popularized basketball and after the team’s formation it went on to win four national championship and 16 Istanbul League titles. The club also competed in the EuroLeague 2011-12 and in 2016, won the Eurocup championship for the first time.

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