The club has a long-standing rivalry with other major Istanbul teams, namely with Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe. The derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe is dubbed the Kıtalar Arası Derbi (English: Intercontinental Derby) due to the location of their headquarters and stadiums on the European (Galatasaray) and Asian (Fenerbahçe) sides of the Bosphorusstrait in Istanbul.
As a result of the team's twentieth championship for the 2014–15 season of the Süper Lig, their logo hereafter contains 4 stars representing their 20 championships for the league. Each star corresponds to the team's 5 championships.
Galatasaray SK was founded in October 1905 (the exact day is disputed, but is traditionally accepted as "17 Teşrinievvel 1321" according to the 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 became Galatasaray SK's first president and was given the club's membership number "1". The team's first match was against Cadi-Keuy FC and Galatasaray won this match with a score of 2–0. 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.
Our aim is to play together, to have a colour and a name, and to beat the teams of outside of Turkey.
The name Galatasaray itself comes from that of Galatasaray High School, which in turn takes its name from Galata Sarayı Enderûn-u Hümâyûn (Galata Palace Imperial School), the name of the original school founded on the site in 1481, and which in turn took its name from the nearby medieval Genoesecitadel of Galata (the modern quarter of Karaköy) in the Beyoğlu (Pera) district of Istanbul. Galatasaray literally means "Galata palace".
According to researcher Cem Atabeyoğlu, Galatasaray took its name from one of its first matches. In that match, Galatasaray won 2–0 over a local Greek club and the spectators called them "Galata Sarayı efendileri" (in English: Gentlemen of Galata Palace), and, after this incident, they adopted that name and started to call their club "Galata Sarayı". 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.
Among with the founder Ali Sami Yen, the co-founders were the ones who were keen to do this sport, such as Asım Tevfik Sonumut, Reşat Şirvani, Cevdet Kalpakçıoğlu, Abidin Daver and Kamil.
Since there weren't any other Turkish teams, Galatasaray joined the Istanbul League that was consisting of English and Greek teams in the season of 1905–1906. With their first championship title they won in 1908–1909, they heralded the beginning of Turkish football history.
While football in Turkey began to fully develop, Galatasaray won ten more Istanbul League titles, six Sunday League titles and three Friday League titles until 1952. Upon the initiation of professional football in 1952, the first professional but non-national league of Turkey, Istanbul Professional League, was played between 1952 and 1959. Galatasaray won three of these seven titles.
Türkiye Profesyonel 1. Ligi (Turkish Super League today) formed in 1959. This is the top-flight professional league in Turkish nationwide football, and the most popular sporting competition in the country. Galatasaray joined all seasons and won 20 league titles since then.
The Turkish Football Federation starts 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 16 trophies since then.
Probably the greatest record that club holds is winning national championships in 15 different sport branches in 1986–87 season.
Galatasaray's most successful era came in late 1990s, when the club become the first Turkish football club ever to win a European trophy. They were aided in this by one of Turkey's best generation of home grown footballers who went on to finish third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and played quarter finals of UEFA Euro 2000. Besides the talented players, visiting teams also disliked traveling into Ali Sami Yen Stadium which is literally called "Hell" by the supporters of Galatasaray due to the intimidating atmosphere provided by the fans including chants and riots in the crowds.
There are many successful footballers who have played for Galatasaray and made their mark on Turkish football history. The team's legendary players include the 1930s national hero Eşfak Aykaç; Boduri who died aged 21; Mehmet Leblebi who scored a domestic record of 14 goals in a single match;Gündüz Kılıç nicknamed Baba (Father) who was the coach but also the player of his team in the 1950s, with great success in both duties; Bülent-Reha Eken brothers; Suat Mamat who made a hat-trick in the 1954 FIFA World Cup;Coşkun Özarı who devoted his life to Galatasaray;Turgay Şeren the heroic goalkeeper who was called "the Panther of Berlin";Fatih Terim, the team captain of Galatasaray and Turkish national football team for many years, who won the UEFA Cup in 2000 as the team's coach;Metin Oktay the legendary six-time top-scorer of the Turkish Super League;Zoran Simović, another skilled goalkeeper known for his penalty saves;Cüneyt Tanman who played a record of 342 games for Galatasaray;Tanju Çolak, an extraordinary goalscorer and the 1988 European Golden Boot winner with Galatasaray;Cevad Prekazi, an Albanian teammate of Tanju Çolak specializing in free kicks;Taffarel the World Cup winner goalkeeper of Brazil;Gheorghe Hagi, the Romanian football hero who is still described as the best foreign player ever to play in Turkey; Brazilian striker Mário Jardel, who was called Super Mário by the fans and scored both of Galatasaray's two goals in the European Super Cup Final in 2000 against Real Madrid; and last but not least, Hakan Şükür, the player who scored most goals in the Turkish Super League history, with 249 goals.
The name Galatasaray (Turkish pronunciation: [ˌɡaɫata.saˈɾaj]) itself comes from that of Galatasaray High School, which took its name from Galata Sarayı Enderûn-u Hümâyûn ("Galata Palace Imperial School"), the name of the original school founded on the site in 1481, and which in turn took its name from the nearby medieval Genoesecitadel of Galata (the modern quarter of Karaköy) in the Beyoğlu (Pera) district of Istanbul. Thus Galatasaray literally means "Galata Palace". "Galatasaray" is a compound word and it is pronounced as such, with a very brief pause between the two words. 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's first emblem was drawn by 333 [School Number] Şevki Ege. This was the figure of a spread-winged eagle with a football in its beak. The eagle was a model emblem that Galatasaray dwelled on in the beginning. But when the name did not attract too much interest, Şevki Ege’s composition was pushed aside. It was replaced by the current design in the 1920s. This replaced in 1925 by the current “Ghayn-Sin” crest, which are the first two Arabic letters of "G"alata "S"aray, designed by Ayetullah Emin.
Galatasaray wore red and white colours when founded, then played in dark yellow and dark blue during the 1907–1908 season. For a match against the football team of the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Barham's crewmen, played on 8 December 1908, Galatasaray finally settled on playing in red and yellow, inspired by the roses which Gül Baba offered to Sultan Bayezid II.
Since 1908 the club's home kit has typically been an 8-piece halved design. The shirt’s front, back and sleeves are made up of two alternating colours. White shorts and red socks are usually worn as part of the home strip This changed in the mid-1980s, when sportswear manufacturer Adidas began to provide the shirts. The club reverted to the "classic" kit in 2012. The official colours are Pantone shades 1235 (yellow) and 201 (red).
Galatasaray's kit is manufactured by Nike, who have held the contract since 2011. Previous kit manufacturers have been: Çamlıca (1978–79); Adidas (1978–82, 1984–91, 1995–2001, and 2005–11); Umbro (1979–81, 1982–83, 1991–95, and 2002–05); Puma (1980–81); Gola (1981–82); Fatih (1984–85); and Lotto (2001–02).
When Galatasaray were formed no Turkish teams had their own home ground, and all games in the Istanbul Football League took place at Papazın Çayırı – now the site of Fenerbahçe's Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. In 1921 the city's first proper football stadium was constructed, Taksim Stadium, which was used as the home ground for all of Istanbul's teams. When historic Taksim Stadium was demolished in 1940, 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 Şeref Stadi and Dolmabahçe Stadi On 20 December 1964, Ali Sami Yen Stadium opened. Named after the founder of Galatasaray, Ali Sami Yen, it is in the Mecidiyeköy quarter of the Şişli district at the center of the city. In 1964, the stadium had capacity over 35,000. Due to improvements in security and prohibition of non-seater spectators, the all-seater capacity reduced to 22,000 in 1993. A few years later, the rebuilt of main stand, which was damaged by an earthquake, slightly increased the capacity. 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 among Turkish stadiums was broken there, in Galatasaray–Olympiacos match played in front of 79,414 spectators. Yet, Ali Sami Yen Stadium has historic importance for Galatasaray fans although it is smaller and older. In 2011, the stadium demolished after Galatsaray moved to newly built Türk Telekom Arena.
The new home ground of Galatasaray is the newly built Türk Telekom Arena in the Aslantepe quarter near Maslak financial district in Şişli. The new stadium, which was opened 15 January 2011, has a capacity of 52,695 seats, making it the largest private stadium owned by a club in Turkey.
Since 1992, 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, the part used has no lyrics except "la la la la". In addition, before every game the Galatasaray War Chant is played accompanied by what the fans call a "scarf show" where fans display and wave their Galatasaray scarves, banners and flags. Many people[who?] call the Turk Telekom Arena 'Cehennem' (hell) because of stadium anthems and the continuous roar of the fans.
Galatasaray fans attach high importance to European competitions, and Galatasaray is known as the Conqueror of Europe by their fans. This nickname underlines the importance of the UEFA Cup and Super Cup Galatasaray managed to win during the 1999–2000 season. Galatasaray fans also have a reputation in Europe as being one of the most fanatic in the world, along with ultrAslan. Ryan Giggs once said I've never experienced anything like Galatasaray. Three hours before kick-off, we went out to have a look at the pitch and the stadium was overcrowded! The chanting was brilliant: one side starts, then the other, then quiet, then all of them chanting! The players really enjoyed it. Before it was good, after it wasn't for us.'
According to media polls since 1978, Galatasaray is the most popular team among football fans in Turkey. The latest poll by June 2012 places Galatasaray in the first place with a 41.8% level of popularity while Fenerbahçe S.K. comes second with a 35.9% level, Beşiktaş J.K. third with 16.3% and Trabzonspor fourth with 4.7%.
"The big three" clubs of Istanbul, Beşiktaş J.K., Fenerbahçe S.K. and Galatasaray S.K. have a century-long history of rivalry. The Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe rivalry is the primary Istanbul derby and the most important rivalry in Turkish football. The rivalry poses a symbolic importance to supporters as much as the result. Supporters are often quoted as stating that winning the league without winning the derby is hollow. There is always huge interest in the derby due to its fierce nature on and off the pitch. Many documentaries have been made about the derby including an The Real Football Factories International episode. The rivalry has led to violence among supporters on numerous occasions, though this has been on the decline in recent years. The typical features of derby days include sell out stadiums, loud support throughout the match and taunting choreography displays by supporters before kick off. Other top level İstanbul derbies include the teams; İstanbul BB and Kasımpaşa although these teams pose a minor rivalry as the history and the nation-wide attention to the derbies among the big three is unmatched.
Torches, smoke, drums, flags and giant posters used to create visual grandeur and apply psychological pressure on visiting teams, which fans call "welcoming them to hell".
Last updated: 3 June 2015 1 Galatasaray SK started season in UCL but joined UC after group stage. Div. = Division;TS = Turkcell Super League; Pos. = Position; Pl = Match played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lost; GS = Goal Scored; GA = Goal Against; P = Points UCL = UEFA Champions League; UCWC = UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; UC = UEFA Cup; Cup = Fortis Turkey Cup. Colors: Gold = winner; Silver = runner-up.
Galatasaray has one of the most successful youth facilities in Turkey. Gündüz Kılıç Youth Facilities in Florya is the center of the department. Galatasaray S.K. PAF have won the Turkish Youth League three times.
Galatasaray football academy trains children between seven and fifteen. They are located in 79 sites, in Turkey, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK.