Ali Sami Yen

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Ali Sami Yen
Founder Ali Sami Yen.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ali Sami Yen
Date of birth 20 May 1886
Place of birth Üsküdar, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Date of death 29 July 1951(1951-07-29) (aged 65)
Place of death Istanbul, Turkey
Buried in Feriköy Cemetery,
 Istanbul, Turkey
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1905–1910 Galatasaray SK
Teams managed
1916–1917 Galatasaray SK
1923 Turkey
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ali Sami Yen, born Ali Sami Frashëri (20 May 1886 – 29 July 1951) was an Albanian-Turkish sports official best known as the founder of the Galatasaray Sports Club. After the enactment of law on family names in 1934, he took the surname Yen, which literally means “win” in the Turkish language.


Ali Sami Yen was born in Kandilli, Üsküdar.[1] He was the son of Sami Frashëri, one of the most famous Albanian writers, philosophers and playwrights.[2]

Istanbul Football League champions, Galatasaray, 1909.
On foot: Adnan, Milo Bakić, Ali Sami (founder), Ahmet Robenson, Asım Tevfik, Emin Bülent, Hamit, Fuat.

He was a student at the prestigious Galatasaray High School in Istanbul. In October 1905, he decided with some of his fellow students to create a football club. At the beginning, the stated goal was “To play together like Englishmen, to have a color and a name, and to beat the other non Turkish teams” according to him.

Ali Sami Yen founded the colours of Galatasaray, stating, "We were imagining brightness of yellow-red fire over our team and thinking that it would carry us from one victory to another."

In 1905, during the era of the Ottoman Empire, there were no laws for associations so the club could not be registered officially, but, after the 1912 Law of Association, the club registered legally.

Yen was the club's first president for 13 years, between 1905 and 1918, and again for a brief spell in 1925. Besides founding Galatasaray SK, he made numerous other contributions to Turkish sports. He was president of the Turkish Olympic Committee between 1926 and 1931. He coached the Turkish national team in its first international match, in 1923 against Romania.

Ali Sami Yen died in 1951. He was laid to rest at the Feriköy Cemetery in Istanbul.

As founder and first president of Galatasaray SK, Ali Sami Yen's name was given to the Galatasaray's long time Ali Sami Yen Stadium which was built in 1964 and situated in the center of Istanbul in Mecidiyeköy. However in January 2011, the club moved to its new home in the Türk Telekom Stadium in the Seyrantepe district while the old stadium was demolished to make way for the construction of a new commercial development.


As player[edit]

Galatasaray SK

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Fahriye Yen (born November 1900 and died 6 October 2002).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ İbrahim Aksu, The story of Turkish surnames: an onomastic study of Turkish family names, their origins, and related matters, Vol: 1, Olay Gazete Press, 2005, ISBN 978-9944-5163-0-3, p. 128.
  2. ^ Brunnbauer, Ulf (2014). "Moving Subjects: The Translocal Nature of Southeastern European History". In Promitzer, Christian; Gruber, Siegfried; Heppner, Harald (eds.). Southeast European Studies in a Globalizing World. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 109. ISBN 9783643905956.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
President of Galatasaray SK
1905 – 15 May 1919
Succeeded by
Refik Cevdet Kalpakçıoğlu
Preceded by
Yusuf Ziya Öniş
President of Galatasaray SK
23 Apr 1925 – 17 Jul 1925
Succeeded by
Ahmet Robenson