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Galatasaray S.K.

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Galatasaray S.K.
Full nameGalatasaray Spor Kulübü
(Galatasaray Sports Club)
NicknamesCimbom (Turkish pronunciation: [dʒimbom])
Aslanlar (The Lions)
Gala (referred to by non-Turkish nationals)
Short nameGS
SchoolGalatasaray University
Galatasaray High School
Founded1 October 1905; 118 years ago (1905-10-01) as Galata-Serai Football Club by Ali Sami Yen
Based inIstanbul, Turkey
StadiumAli Sami Yen Sports Complex
Colors    Yellow and red
AnthemGalatasaray Marşı
PresidentDursun Özbek
TitlesIntercontinental titles: 4
European titles: 17
Balkan titles: 2
Official fan clubultrAslan
Local mediaGSTV
WebsiteGalatasaray SK

Galatasaray Spor Kulübü (Turkish pronunciation: [ɡaɫatasaˈɾaj ˈspoɾ kulyˈby], Galatasaray Sports Club), more commonly referred to as simply Galatasaray and familiarly as Gala, is a Turkish sports club based on the European side of the city of Istanbul including basketball, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, water polo, handball, athletics, swimming, rowing, sailing, judo, bridge, motorsport, equestrian,[1][2] esports, and chess.[3][4] Galatasaray S.K. is among the key members of the Galatasaray Community Cooperation Committee together with Galatasaray University and the prestigious Galatasaray High School.

The football branch of Galatasaray has accumulated the most Süper Lig (24), Turkish Cup (18) and Turkish Super Cup (17) titles in Turkey,[5][6][7] thus making them the most decorated football club in Turkey, as those competitions are the top nationwide professional leagues and cups within the Turkish football system that is recognized and accounted for in accordance to the regulations set by the Turkish Football Federation[8] and UEFA.[9][10][11][12]

In the year 2000 Galatasaray also took claim of the UEFA Cup title by defeating Arsenal F.C.[13][14] and the UEFA Super Cup, by defeating Real Madrid C.F.[15] These accomplishments make Galatasaray the only Turkish football club to have reached that level of European success in the history of Turkish Football.

The club's wheelchair basketball team won the Champions Cup in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014. They also won the Kitakyushu Champions Cup and became world champions in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012.[16][17] Galatasaray women's basketball team won the 2013–14 EuroLeague Women and FIBA Eurocup in 2009 and 2018.[18] Galatasaray men's basketball team claimed their first EuroCup championship after defeating Strasbourg in 2016.[19]


Galatasaray (Turkish pronunciation: [ɡaɫatasaˈɾaj]) is a quarter in Karaköy in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn. Its name comes from that of Galata, which may in turn have derived from Galatai (meaning the "Galatians"), as the Celtic tribes were thought to have camped at Galata during the Hellenistic period before settling in Galatia in central Anatolia. Galatasaray translates directly as "Galata Palace" (saray means "palace" in Persian). Gala also means milk in the Greek language. Galatasaray High School, established in the area in 1481, was the progenitor of Galatasaray S.K. as well as other institutions of Galatasaray Community.[20]

Galatasaray is a compound word and is pronounced as such, with a very brief pause between the two words.[21] There is no diminutive form of the club's name. Fans refer to the club either by its full name or by its nickname Cim-Bom(-Bom)—pronounced [dʒim bom (bom)])—of uncertain etymology. However, the shortened form "Gala" is sometimes used by English speakers.


Galatasaray SK was founded in October 1905 (the exact day is disputed, but is traditionally accepted as "17 Teşrinievvel 1321[22][non-primary source needed]" according to the Islamic Rumi calendar, which corresponds to 30 October 1905 (according to the Gregorian calendar) by Ali Sami Yen and other students of Galatasaray High School (a high school in Istanbul which was established in 1481) as a football club. Ali Sami Yen, who became Galatasaray SK's first president and was given the club's membership number "1", was the son of Şemseddin Sami (Frashëri), an Ottoman writer, philosopher, and playwright of ethnic Albanian origin, and a prominent figure of the Rilindja Kombëtare, the National Renaissance movement of Albania.[23]

The club's first match was against Cadi Keuy FRC and Galatasaray won this game with a score of 2–0.[24] There were discussions about the club's name, in which some suggested Gloria (victory) and others Audace (courage), but it was decided that its name would be Galatasaray.[25]

According to researcher Cem Atabeyoğlu, Galatasaray took its name from one of its first matches. In that match, Galatasaray won 2–0 over Rûm club and the spectators called them "Galata Sarayı Efendileri" (in English: Gentlemen of Galata (City) Palace), and after this event, they adopted that name and started to call their club "GalataSaray". 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.[26]

Our aim is to play together like Englishmen, to have a color and a name, and to beat the non-Turkish teams.

Along with the founder Ali Sami Yen, the co-founders were the ones who were keen to do this sport, such as Asim Tevfik Sonumut, Reşat Şirvani, Cevdet Kalpakçıoğlu, Abidin Daver and Kamil.[21]

At first, the colors of the Galatasaray Sports Club were red and white, which are the colors in the Turkish flag. However, the Turkish Republic was not founded at that time. Therefore, this inspiration caused repressive administration of the day feel uncomfortable and the administration hounded the footballers. For this reason, the colors were changed to yellow and dark blue till 1907. In 1908, new colors were chosen as red and yellow. Ali Sami Yen stated, "We were imagining brightness of yellow – red fire over our team and thinking that it would carry us from one victory to another."[26]

While the football in Turkey began to fully develop, Galatasaray won ten more Istanbul League titles[citation needed] until 1952[citation needed]. Upon recognition of professional football in 1952, the first professional but non-national league of Turkey, Istanbul Professional League played between 1952 and 1959. Galatasaray won three of these seven titles.[citation needed]

Turkcell Super League, the top-flight professional league in Turkish nationwide football, and the most popular sporting competition in the country, formed in 1959. Galatasaray joined all seasons and won 22 league titles since then.[27]

The Turkish Football Federation started to organize "Turkish Cup" (today it is organized with the name Ziraat Turkish Cup) in the 1962–63 season for Turkish clubs to qualify for the UEFA competitions. This is the only national cup competition in Turkey. Galatasaray joined all seasons and won 18 trophies since then.[28]


The first Galatasaray SK crest with the Arabic letters instead of Latin

Galatasaray's first emblem was a figure of a spread-winged eagle with a football in its beak, drawn by 333 (Galatasaray High School student number) Şevki Ege. This was replaced in 1925 by the current "Ghayn-Sin" crest, designed by Ayetullah Emin.[29]

Team colours and kit[edit]

Galatasaray's classic home kit

Galatasaray wore red and white colours when founded, then played in yellow and black during the 1907–1908 season.

For a match against the football team of the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Barham, played on 8 December 1908, Galatasaray finally settled on playing in red and yellow.

Ali Sami Yen, the main founder of Galatasaray, wrote the following in his diaries:

"Our goalkeeper Asım Tevfik, left-forwarder Emin Bülent and right midfielder Ali Sami Yen were commissioned for the task of determining the new team colours. After we had been in and out of several shops, we saw two different elegant-looking wool materials in Fat Yanko's store at Bahçekapısı (between Eminönü and Sirkeci in Istanbul, now called Bahçekapı). One of them was quite dark red, resembling the cherry colour, and the other a rich yellow with a touch of orange. When the sales clerk made the two fabrics fly together with a twist of his hand they became so bright that it reminded us of the beauty of a goldfinch. We thought we were looking at the colours flickering in burning fire. We were picturing the yellow-red flames shining on our team and dreaming that it would take us to victories. Indeed it did."

The red and yellow colours were also inspired from the roses which Gül Baba offered to Sultan Bayezid II.[30]


Current departments[edit]

Sport Teams
Football Galatasaray S.K. (football)
Galatasaray S.K. (women's football)
Basketball Galatasaray S.K. (men's basketball)
Galatasaray S.K. (women's basketball)
Wheelchair basketball Galatasaray S.K. (wheelchair basketball)
Volleyball Galatasaray S.K. (men's volleyball)
Galatasaray S.K. (women's volleyball)
Water polo Galatasaray S.K. (men's water polo)
Galatasaray S.K. (women's water polo)
Athletics Galatasaray S.K. (athletics)
Swimming Galatasaray S.K. (swimming)
Rowing Galatasaray S.K. (rowing)
Sailing Galatasaray S.K. (sailing)
Judo Galatasaray S.K. (judo)
Bridge Galatasaray S.K. (bridge)
Equestrian Galatasaray S.K. (equestrian)[2]
Chess Galatasaray S.K. (chess)[4]
Gymnastics Galatasaray S.K. (gymnastics)[31]
Tennis Galatasaray S.K. (tennis team; to be opened soon)[32]
Esports Galatasaray S.K. (VALORANT)[33]

Defunct departments[edit]

  • Wrestling 1887
İstanbul Championship: Winner(8) 1945 to 1955[citation needed]
Turkish Championship: Winner(2)[citation needed]

The first boxer in Turkey was Sabri Mahir.

  • Swedish gymnastics 1908
  • Hockey 1911
  • Field hockey 1915
  • Baseball 1925
  • Table tennis 1925
  • Handball 1926
İstanbul Championship: Winner (8) 1945 to 1955[citation needed]
Turkish Championship: Winner (2)[citation needed]
  • Cricket 1926
  • Aviation & gliding, 1931
  • Skiing & mountaineering, 1931
  • Motocross 1931
  • Fencing 1931
  • Water ballet 1995
  • Superleague Formula 2008

Reactivated departments[edit]

  • Tennis 1910
  • Gymnastics 1868

Achievements in major competitions[edit]

Sport Teams Status Year
Football 1999–2000 UEFA Cup Winner 1999–2000
Football 2000 UEFA Super Cup Winner 2000
Wheelchair Basketball IWBF Champions Cup Winner 2007–2008
Wheelchair Basketball Kitakyushu Champions Cup Winner 2008
Basketball Women 2008–09 EuroCup Women Winner 2008–2009
Wheelchair Basketball IWBF Champions Cup Winner 2008–2009
Basketball Women 2009 FIBA Europe SuperCup Women Finalist 2008–2009
Wheelchair Basketball Kitakyushu Champions Cup Winner 2009
Wheelchair Basketball IWBF Champions Cup Winner 2010–2011
Bridge European Championship Winner 2010–2011
Wheelchair Basketball Kitakyushu Champions Cup Winner 2011
Volleyball Women CEV CUP Finalist 2011–2012
Wheelchair Basketball IWBF Champions Cup Finalist 2011–2012
Wheelchair Basketball Kitakyushu Champions Cup Winner 2012
Wheelchair Basketball IWBF Champions Cup Winner 2012–2013
Basketball Women 2013–14 EuroLeague Women Winner 2013–2014
Wheelchair Basketball IWBF Champions Cup Winner 2013–2014
Judo Women European Judo Club Championships 2014 – Golden League Women Winner 2014
Volleyball Women CEV CUP Finalist 2015–2016
Volleyball Men 2016 BVA Cup Winner 2016
Basketball Men Eurocup Winner 2015–2016
Wheelchair Basketball André Vergauwen Cup Winner 2016–2017
Wheelchair Basketball André Vergauwen Cup Winner 2017–2018
Basketball Women 2017–18 EuroCup Women Winner 2017–2018
Volleyball Men CEV Cup Finalist 2018–2019
Volleyball Women CEV CUP Finalist 2020–2021
Judo Women European Judo Club Championships 2021 – Golden League Women Winner 2021
Basketball Women 2022–23 EuroCup Women Finalist 2022-2023
Volleyball Women 2023 BVA Cup Winner 2023
Water Polo 2023–24 LEN Challenger Cup Winner 2023-24



Galatasaray Store at Nef Stadium

Galatasaray played during its first years in different fields, since there were not any stadiums in Istanbul. In 1921, the first stadium, Taksim Stadium opened.[34] Galatasaray played there until 1940. When the historic Taksim Stadium was demolished, Galatasaray decided to build a large, modern stadium. Due to difficulties stemming from World War II, construction was delayed for over two decades. In this period, they played in İnönü Stadium.

On 20 December 1964, Ali Sami Yen Stadium opened.[35] It was named after the founder of the club, Ali Sami Yen and was in the Mecidiyeköy quarter of the Şişli district at the center of the city. In 1964, the stadium had a capacity of over 35,000. Due to improvements in security and prohibition of standing spectators, it had an all-seater capacity of 24,990 and was nicknamed "Hell".[36]

After 2002, when Atatürk Olympic Stadium was built for Istanbul's Olympic Games bid, Galatasaray started to play European Cup matches there. The attendance record for a Turkish stadium was broken there, in a Galatasaray–Olympiacos match played in front of 79,414 spectators. But the Ali Sami Yen Stadium had historic importance for Galatasaray fans although it was smaller and older.[37]

The new Nef Stadium was built for Galatasaray in return for the highly valued land of the historic Ali Sami Yen stadium in Mecidiyekoy, and became the new home ground for Galatasaray S.K., replacing the old Ali Sami Yen Stadium. The new stadium has a capacity of 52,695 seats. The Ali Sami Yen Stadium was demolished in 2011 with the contractor revealing that it was on the verge of collapse and that a major stadium disaster would almost certainly have occurred had the stadium remained in use[38]

Since 1998, after every goal scored by Galatasaray, the last part of the song "I Will Survive" by the Hermes House Band is played. Although the song is in English and already adopted by Dutch football team Feyenoord, the part used has no lyrics except "la la la la". This makes it easy for fans to participate.

In addition, before every game the Florida State Seminoles' war chant is played accompanied by what the fans call a "scarf show", where fans display and wave their Galatasaray scarves.[39]

Other facilities[edit]

Galatasaray Islet on the Bosphorus
An exterior view of the Nevzat Özgörkey Equestrian Facilities of Galatasaray S.K.
An interior view of the Nevzat Özgörkey Equestrian Facilities of Galatasaray S.K.

Club officials[edit]

Board of directors
As of 19 June 2022
Office Name
President Dursun Aydın Özbek
Deputy President Metin Öztürk
Vice President Niyazi Yelkencioğlu
Board Secretary Eray Yazgan
Treasurer Levent Yaz
Board Spokesperson Rıza Tevfik Morova
Board Member Bora İsmail Bahçetepe
Board Member Mehmet İsmail Sarıkaya
Board Member Mehmet Saruhan Cibara
Board Member Dikran Gülmezgil
Board Member Can Natan
Board Member Emir Aral
Board Member Cansu Ak Yılmaz
Board Member Tanur Lara Yılmaz
Board Member Cem Soylu
Galatasaray High School Headmaster Prof.Dr.H.Murat Develioğlu
From-to Names
1905–1918 Ali Sami Yen
1990–1996 Alp Yalman
1996–2001 Faruk Süren
2001–2002 Mehmet Cansun
2002–2008 Özhan Canaydın
2008–2011 Adnan Polat
2011–2014 Ünal Aysal
2014–2015 Duygun Yarsuvat
2015–2018 Dursun Özbek
2018–2021 Mustafa Cengiz
2021–2022 Burak Elmas
2022- Dursun Özbek

Other businesses[edit]

Galatasaray Store

Galatasaray AŞ owns a chain of 81 Galatasaray Stores, selling club merchandise in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Netherlands, Germany, and Northern Cyprus.[citation needed] The club also owns an online betting company, an insurance company, an Internet service provider company, a travel agency, a forex company, and a search engine company.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Binicilik Ana Sayfa – GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Binicilik Ana Sayfa". galatasaray.org.
  3. ^ "Satranç Ana Sayfa – GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Satranç Ana Sayfa". galatasaray.org.
  5. ^ "Süper Lig Tarihçe Şampiyonluklar Arşiv Gol Krallığı TFF". tff.org. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Türkiye Kupası Tarihçe ve Arşiv TFF". tff.org. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Turkcell Süper Kupa Tarihçesi TFF". tff.org. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Ligler Ana Sayfa TFF". tff.org. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Developing football in Turkey | Inside UEFA". UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Domestic | Turkey | National Associations | Inside UEFA". UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Domestic | Turkey | National Associations | Inside UEFA". UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  12. ^ Club Licensing Benchmarking Report: Living with the pandemic (PDF). UEFA.
  13. ^ "Snap shot: Galatasaray win historic UEFA Cup – UEFA Europa League – News – UEFA.com". UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Galatasaray-Arsenal History | UEFA Europa League 1999/00". UEFA. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  15. ^ "2000 Super Cup: Jardel doubles up for Galatasaray | UEFA Super Cup". UEFA. 1 September 2000. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  16. ^ "GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  17. ^ "GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  18. ^ "GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul vs. Strasbourg – Game – Welcome to 7DAYS EuroCup". EurocupBasketball.com. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  20. ^ Tekil, Süleyman (1983). Galatasaray, Dünden Bugüne 1905–1982. İstanbul: Arset Matbaacılık Kollektif Şti. pp. 1–13.
  21. ^ a b "GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Tweets with replies by melih sabanoglu (@melihsabanoglu)". Twitter. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  23. ^ Bozkurt Güvenç, Türk Kimliği, Kültür Bakanlığı, 1993, p. 32. (in Turkish)
  24. ^ "First match and foundation". Galatasaray.org. 17 November 2007. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008.
  25. ^ "How Galatasaray Founded". Galatasaray.org. 23 November 2007. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008.
  26. ^ a b "History of founding from official site". Galatasaray.org. 22 November 2007.
  27. ^ "Türkiye Profesyonel 1. Ligi". Galatasaray.org. 21 November 2007.
  28. ^ "Information about Turkish Cup". Tff.org. 20 November 2007.
  29. ^ "GALATASARAY.ORG". galatasaray.org. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  30. ^ "Yellow Red since 100 Years". GALATASARAY.ORG.
  31. ^ "Cimnastik Okulları". GALATASARAY.ORG.
  32. ^ "Olağan Genel Kurul Yapıldı". GALATASARAY.ORG.
  33. ^ "Galatasaray Espor". GALATASARAY.ORG.
  34. ^ "En Eski Stadı". İstanbul'un Enleri. 16 September 2007. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008.
  35. ^ "Ali Sami Yen Stadium". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
  36. ^ "Ali Sami Yen Stadium Information". The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
  37. ^ "Zulümpiyat! Stadı". Fotomaç. 20 October 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  38. ^ http://www.stadiumguide.com/alisamiyen/ Ali Sami Yen which is popular president of Galatasaray – The Stadium guide
  39. ^ ultrAslanForce (1 March 2007). "Fener Maçı öncesi Muhteşem Atkı Show!!". Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2018 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ "Nevzat Özgörkey Binicilik Tesisleri – GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  41. ^ "Ergun Gürsoy Olimpik Yüzme Havuzu – GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  42. ^ "Galatasaray Gölbaşı Ankara Facilities". Galatasaraylilarbirligi.org.tr. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  43. ^ "Taç Spor Tesisleri – GALATASARAY.ORG". Galatasaray.org. Retrieved 25 January 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Birand, M. A., & Polat, M. M. (2006). Passion that continues for 100 years. İstanbul: D Yapım. OCLC 164788939
  • Turagay, U., Özgün, G., Gökçin, B., Ahunbay (2006). 17 May: The story of a championship. İstanbul: D Yapım. OCLC 169899400
  • Hasol, D. (2004). Dreams/realities in Galatasaray. İstanbul: Yapı Yayın. ISBN 975-8599-44-5
  • Tuncay, B. (2003). Galatasaray with European Success and Notable Players. Yapı Kredi Kü̈ltü̈r Sanat Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-975-08-0427-4
  • Yamak, O. (2001). Galatasaray: Story of 95 years. Sinerji. OCLC 59287768
  • Çakır, A. (1995). 90 questions about history of Galatasaray SK. Cağaloğlu, İstanbul: Demir Ajans Yayınları. OCLC 42434622
  • Tekil, S. (1986). History of Galatasaray, 1905–1985. Galatasaray Spor Kulübü. OCLC 25025508
  • Tekil, S. (1983). Galatasaray 1905–1982: Memories. Arset Matbaacılık Koll. Şti. OCLC 62614035
  • İsfendiyar, F. (1952). History of Galatasaray. İstanbul: [Doğan Kardeş yayınları]. OCLC 27753643

External links[edit]