Süper Lig

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This article is about the league in Turkey. For the league in Northern Cyprus, see Süper Lig (Northern Cyprus).
Spor Toto Süper Lig
Country  Turkey
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1959[1]
First season 1959 Milli Lig
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to TFF First League
Domestic cup(s) Turkish Cup
Turkish Super Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Galatasaray (20th title)
Most championships Galatasaray (20 titles)
Most capped player Oğuz Çetin (503 matches)[2]
Top goalscorer Hakan Şükür (249 goals)[3]
TV partners Lig TV
TRT (Highlights only)
MP & Silva (Global highlights)
Website Süper Lig
2015–16 Süper Lig

The Süper Lig (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈsypæɾ liɟ], Super League) is a Turkish professional league for association football clubs. It is the top-flight of the Turkish football league system. It is one of the top leagues in the UEFA confederation, and the winner of the competition automatically qualifies for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Eighteen clubs compete annually, where a champion is decided and three clubs are promoted and relegated from, and to, the 1. Lig. The season runs from August to May, with each club playing 34 matches. Matches are played Friday through Monday. It is sponsored by Spor Toto and therefore officially known as the Spor Toto Süper Lig.[4] The competition formed as the Milli Lig in 1958. It was the first national league competition held in Turkey. Previously, league competitions took place in a few cities, including Adana, Ankara, Eskişehir, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, and Trabzon. It is currently ranked 11th in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years. A total of 67 clubs have competed in the Süper Lig, but just 5 have won the title: Galatasaray (20), Fenerbahçe (19), Beşiktaş (13), Trabzonspor (6) and Bursaspor (1).


Football in Turkey stems back to the late 19th century, when Englishmen brought the game with them while living in Thessaloníki. The first league competition was the Istanbul Football League, which took place in 1904–05. The first champions were Imogene FC. The league went through several variations until the creation of the Milli Lig in 1959. Between the creation of the Istanbul Football League and Milli Lig, several other city leagues took place: Adana (1923), Ankara (1923), Eskişehir (1920), Izmir (1923), Kayseri (1936), and Trabzon (1923). The Milli Küme was the first step towards a national league competition.

Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray match photo of the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

Started in 1937, the Milli Küme was an inter-city competition between clubs in Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir. The competition lasted until 1950. The Federation Cup was created in 1956 and used as a cup competition to decide a champion. This champion would go on to participate in the European Cup. The cup competition was held for two years until it was replaced by the Milli Lig. Beşiktaş won both times, and represented twice Turkey in the European Cup during the two-year span.[5][6][7]

The top clubs from Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir competed in the 1959 Milli Lig. The first season took place in the calendar year of 1959, instead of 1958-59, because the qualifying stages took place in 1958. The 16 clubs who competed in the first season were: Adalet (İstanbul), Altay (İzmir), Ankaragücü, Ankara Demirspor, Beşiktaş (İstanbul), Beykoz (İstanbul), Fatih Karagümrük (İstanbul), Fenerbahçe (İstanbul), Galatasaray (İstanbul), Gençlerbirliği (Ankara), Göztepe (İzmir), Hacettepe (Ankara), İstanbulspor, İzmirspor, Karşıyaka (İzmir Province) and Vefa (Istanbul). Just 4 of those clubs are competing in the most recent 2012–13 Süper Lig: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Gençlerbirliği. The first champions were Fenerbahçe and the first Gol Kralı (Goal King) was Metin Oktay. No clubs were promoted or relegated at the end of the first season.[8]

The 2.Lig (Second League) was created at the start of the 1963–64 season and the Milli Lig or Turkish National League became known as the 1.Lig (First League). Before the creation of a second league, the bottom three clubs competed with regional league winners in a competition called the Baraj Games. The top three teams of the seven team group were promoted to the Milli Lig. After the creation of a new second division in 2001, known as the 1.Lig, the formerly titled 1.Lig became the Süper Lig.[9]

Competition format[edit]

The third Süper Lig Trophy, used between 1999 and 2004.

There are 18 clubs in the Süper Lig. During the course of the season (from August to May) each club plays the others twice (a double round robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to head record and then goal difference determine the winner. The three lowest placed teams are relegated to the 1.Lig and the top two teams from the 1.Lig, together with the winner of play-offs involving the third to sixth placed 1.Lig clubs, are promoted in their place.[10]

Qualification for European competitions[edit]

As of the start of the 2012–13 Süper Lig season qualification for European competitions is as follows: champions qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, runners-up qualify for the third qualifying round of the Champions League, third place qualifies for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, and fourth place qualifies for the second qualifying round of the same competition. A fifth spot is given to the winner of the Turkish Cup, who qualify for the play-off round of the Europa League. If the Turkish Cup winner has already qualified for European competition through their league finish, then the runners-up take their place in the play-off round. If the runners-up have also qualified, the next highest placed club in the league takes their place.

Last updated 17 August 2014[11]


The following 18 clubs competed in the Süper Lig during the 2014–15 season.

Club City
in top
First season
current spell
top division
Akhisar Belediyespor[a] Akhisar 02110th 2012-13 3 2012-13
Balıkesirspor Balıkesir 0112nd in the TFF First League 1975-76 2 2014–15
Beşiktaş JK[a][b] Istanbul 0043rd 1959 57 1959 11 2008–09
Bursaspor Bursa 0018th 1967–68 46 2006–07 1 2009–10
Çaykur Rizespor Rize 01113th 1979-80 15 2013–14
Eskişehirspor Eskişehir 00712th 1966–67 29 2008–09
Fenerbahçe[a][b] Istanbul 0021st 1959 57 1959 19 2013-14
Galatasaray[a][b] Istanbul 003 2nd 1959 57 1959 20 2014-15
Gaziantepspor Gaziantep 01315th 1979–80 29 1990–91
Gençlerbirliği[b] Ankara 0109th 1959 43 1989–90
İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. Istanbul 0061st in the TFF First League 2007-08 7 2014–15
Kardemir Demir Çelik Karabükspor Karabük 0197th 1993–94 8 2010–11
Kasımpaşa S.K. İstanbul 0226th 1959-60 11 2012-13
Kayseri Erciyesspor Kayseri 00614th 1973-74 13 2013–14
Mersin İdman Yurdu Mersin 020TFF First League playoff winner 1967-68 14 2014–15
Konyaspor Konya 02011th 1988-89 14 2013–14
Sivasspor[a] Sivas 0155th 2005–06 10 2005–06
Trabzonspor[a] Trabzon 0054th 1974–75 41 1974–75 6 1983-84


  1. ^ a b c d e f Never been relegated from the Süper Lig
  2. ^ a b c d Founding member of the Süper Lig


Only 5 clubs have been champions since the beginning of the Super League in 1959: Galatasaray 20 times, Fenerbahçe 19 times, Beşiktaş 11 (with an additional two championships counted in the two years before the league was formed for a total of 13, see note below), Trabzonspor 6 and Bursaspor 1 time.

Team Winners Runners-up Years won
Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg
20 10 1962, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015
Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg
19 20 1959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2014
Star full.svgStar full.svg
13 14 1957*, 1958*, 1960, 1966, 1967, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2009
Star full.svg
6 8 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984
Bursaspor 1 0 2010


Beşiktaş formally requested that championships won in the 1956–57 and 1957–58 versions of the Turkish Federation Cup be counted as Turkish Professional First Division championships to the Turkish Football Federation. The ruling on this matter was announced in a press release on March 25, 2002 which indicated that the championships won by Beşiktaş in the Turkish Federation Cup will be considered as national championships but the Turkish Federation Cup can not be considered as the precursor to the Turkish Professional First Division (later named Süper Lig) and as such these titles can not be categorized as a Turkish Professional First Division (or Süper Lig) titles. Based on this ruling, the Turkish Federation Cup wins by Beşiktaş count towards the star rating system, giving Beşiktaş two more championships for the purposes of the star rating system than the number of Süper Lig titles won by the club.

Star rating system[edit]

Clubs are permitted to place a golden star above their crest on their uniforms for every five national championships won. For the 2015/16 season Galatasaray are permitted four golden stars, Fenerbahçe are permitted three golden stars , Beşiktaş are permitted two golden stars and Trabzonspor are permitted one golden star to be placed above their crest on their jerseys.[12]

Participation in the league (2015-16 season is included)[edit]

Teams in bold play in 2015-16 Süper Lig.

All-time top scorers[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Süper Lig Top Scorers.
Rank Player Goals[19] Apps Rate
1 Turkey Hakan Şükür 249 487 0.51
2 Turkey Tanju Çolak 240 281 0.85
3 Turkey Hami Mandirali 218 477 0.46
4 Turkey Metin Oktay 217 258 0.84
5 Turkey Aykut Kocaman 212 348 0.61
6 Turkey Feyyaz Uçar 198 409 0.48
7 Turkey Serkan Aykut 147 559 0.26
8 Turkey Fevzi Zemzem 144 356 0.40
9 Turkey Necati Ateş 140 362 0.39
10 Turkey Cenk İşler 137 349 0.39

As of 26 January 2015 (Bold denotes players still playing in the league).

All-time most appearances[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Football records in Turkey.
Rank Player Apps[19] Years
1 Turkey Oğuz Çetin 503 1981–2000
2 Turkey Rıza Çalımbay 494 1980–1996
3 Turkey Hakan Şükür 488 1987–2000, 2003–2008
4 Turkey Hami Mandıralı 476 1984–1998, 1999–2003
5 Turkey Kemal Yıldırım 475 1976–1995
6 Turkey Mehmet Nas 453 1997–
7 Turkey Recep Çetin 437 1984–2001
8 Turkey Bülent Korkmaz 430 1988–2005
9 Turkey Müjdat Yetkiner 429 1979–1995
10 Turkey Ömer Çatkıç 427 1995–2012

As of 18 May 2014 (Bold denotes players still playing in the league).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.tff.org.tr/default.aspx?pageID=497
  2. ^ http://www.mackolik.com
  3. ^ http://www.mackolik.com/Futbolcu/5897/Hakan-Sukur
  4. ^ "New Sponsor". SuperLigNews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  5. ^ Sivritepe, Erdinç Before the Turkish leagues turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  6. ^ Sivritepe, Erdinç Federation Cup 56/57 turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  7. ^ Sivritepe, Erdinç Federation Cup 57/58 turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  8. ^ Sivritepe, Erdinç 1959 Milli Lig turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  9. ^ Sivritepe, Erdinç 1963-1964 1. Lig turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  10. ^ Official TFF competition rules
  11. ^ Accuracy? Out of date?
  12. ^ Kárpáti, Tamás (21 May 2010). "List of champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  13. ^ (before 2004-05 season played as Kayserispor)
  14. ^ (Dissolved in 2013)
  15. ^ (before 2004-05 season played as Kayseri Erciyesspor)
  16. ^ (before 2014-15 season played as İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor). İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor
  17. ^ (Dissolved in 2011)
  18. ^ (Dissolved in 2014) Siirtspor
  19. ^ a b mackolik.com

External links[edit]