Turkey national basketball team

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This article is about the Turkish men's national basketball team. For the women's team, see Turkey women's national basketball team.
Turkey Turkey Türkiye
Turkish Basketball Federation.png
FIBA ranking 8 1
Joined FIBA 1936
FIBA zone FIBA Europe
National federation TBF
Coach Ergin Ataman
Nickname(s) 12 Dev Adam
(12 Giant Men)
Olympic Games
Appearances 2
Medals None
FIBA World Cup
Appearances 4
Medals Silver medal world centered-2.svg 2010
FIBA EuroBasket
Appearances 22
Medals Silver medal europe.svg 2001
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Light jersey
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Team colours
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Dark jersey
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Team colours

The Turkey national basketball team represents Turkey in international basketball competitions organized by FIBA. The team is nicknamed "12 Dev Adam", meaning 12 Giant Men.

Through 2014 it has won two silver medals in major international tournaments: One at FIBA EuroBasket (2001) and one at the FIBA World Cup (2010). Further, it won multiple medals at minor tournaments such as the Mediterranean Games.

Currently, Turkey stands 8th in the FIBA World Rankings.


Ahmet Robenson was known as being the first organizer of basketball in Turkey. In 1936 Turkey played their first ever basketball match against Greece winning 49–12. For many years basketball was the second most popular sport in Turkey but the national basketball team was never successful until the late 90s. Efes Pilsen was the first Turkish team to win a European Cup in any sports by clinching the Korać Cup. Since then basketball in Turkey has grown constantly as the national basketball team began to play a major role in international tournaments.

1930s–1940s EuroBasket debut[edit]

Turkey's European championship debut came at EuroBasket 1949. The Turks split their six games in the seven-team round robin tournament, finishing with three wins and three losses for 4th place.


Turkey competed again at EuroBasket 1951 in Paris. Their only loss in the preliminary round was to the Soviet Union as Turkey earned the second-rank spot with a 3–1 record. Their single loss to Bulgaria in the semi-final round, however, was enough to bump them from championship contention as they came out on the bottom of a three-way tie with a 2–1 record. They won their classification 5–8 game, but lost the 5/6 game to Italy.

Turkey returned after missing 1953's edition to EuroBasket 1955 in Budapest. They went 1–2 in their preliminary round group, taking third in the pool and moving to classification play. There they lost only to France on their way to a 3–1 record in classification round 1. They lost their 9–12 semi-final by 1 point to Finland, but defeated England 77–54 in the next game to take 11th place of the 18 team tournament.

Turkey appeared again at EuroBasket 1957 in Sofia. Losing to the Soviet Union and Poland in the preliminary round, Turkey took third in the group to be sent to the classification pool. They defeated each of the other seven teams in the classification round in order to take 9th place of the 16 teams.

Mediterranean success[edit]

The 60s, 70s and 80s would be a barren time for the national basketball team, they were however successful at the Mediterranean Games winning two bronze medals in 1967 and 1983, one silver medal in 1971 and one gold medal in 1987.


Turkey appeared again at EuroBasket 1993 after 12 years but it finished 11th among 16 teams. Turkey finished 13th among 14 teams at EuroBasket 1995, 8th among 16 teams at EuroBasket 1997, and again 8th among 16 teams at EuroBasket 1999.


Turkey won the silver medal at EuroBasket 2001, losing to Yugoslavia in the Final.

As the host country of EuroBasket 2001, the Turkish national basketball team gave Turkish basketball a major boost by reaching the EuroBasket final for the first time in their history defeating Croatia in the quarter-finals and Germany in the semi-finals, in the final game Turkey played against Yugoslavia and lost with a score of 69–78 winning the silver medal. Turkish star İbrahim Kutluay scored 19 points in the final game and was included in the all-tournament team.

Turkey then qualified for the 2002 FIBA World Championship. Turkey had 4 wins and 4 defeats at the championship and finished 9th.

At EuroBasket 2003, Turkey reached the second round where they got eliminated by Serbia and Montenegro.

Turkey qualified for EuroBasket 2005 held in Serbia and Montenegro, but lost to Lithuania (87–75) and Croatia (80–67), defeating only Bulgaria (94–89) in the preliminary round. This win brought Turkey to the knock-out stage, where Germany eliminated the team 66–57. Turkey ended the tournament with a 9–12 rank.

Turkey was awarded one of the four wild cards by FIBA for the qualification to the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.

Turkish squad completed the preliminary rounds in Group C at second place after the Greek team, and was entitled to play in the round of 16, winning 4 matches against Lithuania (76–74), Australia (76–68), Brazil (73–71) and Qatar (76–69) of the total 5, beaten only by Greece (69–76) in the last match. The young team made also achievements such as the first official win over Lithuania and the first ever 4 consecutive wins in a championship. On August 26, 2006 Turkish national team qualified for the Elite Eight defeating Slovenia by 90–84. In the quarter-finals Turkey lost to Argentina, they managed to defeat Lithuania once again before losing to France finishing 6th.

Turkey vs. Greece at EuroBasket 2009.

A new nickname, "12 Cesur Yürek" (12 Brave Hearts) was proposed after the young and inexperienced team's surprising performance in the 2006 World Championship, despite not having star players Hidayet Türkoğlu, Mehmet Okur, Mirsad Türkcan, Kerem Tunçeri and Hüseyin Beşok.

At EuroBasket 2007 Turkey played in Group C with Lithuania, Germany and Czech Republic. Turkey began by losing 86–69 to Lithuania and was then blown out 79–49 by Germany. The team ended group play with an 80–72 win over fellow bottom-of-the-group team Czech Republic. With that win Turkey advanced to the next round, but the team lost all its games (66–51 to Slovenia, 84–75 to Italy, 85–64 to France) in that round. Turkey were eliminated from EuroBasket 2007 with a 1–5 record and an 11th place finish.

At EuroBasket 2009 Turkey played in group D with hosts Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria. The D group matches took place in Wrocław, Poland. Turkey won all three of its group matches and qualified for the second round. Turkey enjoyed a strong start in the second round as well. The team won its first match, against World Champions Spain, when Aşık and İlyasova rejected a last-second shot by Sergio Llull. Turkey then beat Serbia in overtime. Turkey's winning streak came to an end against Slovenia, when, despite a 19-point comeback, Atsür missed a desperation three pointer in a 69–67 loss. In the quarter-finals, Turkey met Greece and lost a close game in overtime finishing the tournament 8th. Turkey won the bronze medal at the 2009 Mediterranean Games.


Turkey won the silver medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, losing to the USA in the Final.

As the host country, Turkey automatically qualified for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Turkey topped their group winning all their games against Côte d'Ivoire, Russia, Greece, Puerto Rico and China. In the knockout stages Turkey managed to defeat France, Slovenia and Serbia in a thrilling and irregular semi-final match which Turkey won 83–82. The team enjoyed its greatest FIBA success to date, going undefeated in group play and progressing to the final, where they eventually lost to the United States and won the silver medal. Each player gained 1,500,000 TL (approximately $1,000,000 in September, 2010) prize from the government for being the runner-up in the competition.[1]

Orhun Ene was appointed head coach to lead Turkey during EuroBasket 2011, the team had a bad tournament as they got eliminated in the second group phase after losing three straight games. Enes Kanter the big potential of international basketball was included to the roster for the first time. Turkey and Serbia are the only teams that managed to defeat EuroBasket 2011 winners Spain during the tournament. Turkey won their second gold medal in the 2013 Mediterranean Games by defeating Serbia in the final.

At EuroBasket 2013, Turkey only managed to defeat Sweden finishing 17th.

On March 22, 2014 the Turkish Basketball Federation announced that Ergin Ataman will lead the team during the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, EuroBasket 2015 and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Current roster[edit]

The roster for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup:

Turkey National Basketball Team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Age – Date of birth Ht. Club Ctr.
F 4 Osman, Cedi 19 – (1995-04-08)8 April 1995 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) Anadolu Efes Turkey
G 5 Güler, Sinan 30 – (1983-11-08)8 November 1983 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) Galatasaray Liv Hospital Turkey
G 6 Ermiş, Barış 29 – (1985-01-03)3 January 1985 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) Royal Halı Gaziantep Turkey
F 7 Akyol, Cenk 27 – (1987-04-16)16 April 1987 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) Anadolu Efes Turkey
F 8 Hersek, Barış 26 – (1988-03-26)26 March 1988 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) Pınar Karşıyaka Turkey
F 9 Preldžič, Emir 26 – (1987-09-06)6 September 1987 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) Fenerbahçe Ülker Turkey
G 10 Tunçeri, Kerem 35 – (1979-04-14)14 April 1979 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) Türk Telekom Turkey
C 11 Savaş, Oğuz 27 – (1987-07-13)13 July 1987 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) Fenerbahçe Ülker Turkey
F 12 Gönlüm, Kerem 36 – (1977-11-22)22 November 1977 2.09 m (6 ft 10 in) Galatasaray Liv Hospital Turkey
G 13 Arslan, Ender 31 – (1983-01-13)13 January 1983 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) Galatasaray Liv Hospital Turkey
C 14 Aşık, Ömer 28 – (1986-07-04)4 July 1986 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) New Orleans Pelicans United States
C 15 Aldemir, Furkan 23 – (1991-08-09)9 August 1991 2.07 m (6 ft 9 in) Philadelphia 76ers United States
Head coach
Assistant coach

  • (C) Team captain
  • Club field describes current pro club
  • Age describes age as of 30 August 2014

Depth Chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Bench Bench
C Ömer Aşık Oğuz Savaş Furkan Aldemir Semih Erden
PF Ersan İlyasova Enes Kanter Kerem Gönlüm Barış Hersek
SF Emir Preldzic Cedi Osman Okben Ulubay Cenk Akyol
SG Sinan Güler Melih Mahmutoğlu Furkan Korkmaz
PG Ender Arslan Kenan Sipahi Doğuş Balbay Kartal Özmızrak

Competitive record[edit]

European Youth Championship Performances[edit]

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Under-16/17 3 1 4 8
2 Under-18/19 2 2 2 6
3 Under-20 1 1 1 3