Turgay Demirel

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Turgay Demirel
President of FIBA Europe
Personal details
Born 1957
İstanbul, Turkey
Spouse(s) Şebnem Demirel (m. 1985)
Alma mater Middle East Technical University

Turgay Demirel (born 1957, in Istanbul, Turkey) is the President of FIBA Europe and the Former President of the Turkish Basketball Federation.[1] He is a leading figure in international basketball.

Early years[edit]

Turgay Demirel was born in Istanbul in 1957. He graduated from the German High School in Istanbul and studied engineering at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara.[2]

He became interested in basketball as a teenager with the support of his uncle, former national team player and Galatasaray President Prof. Dr. Ali Uras. Demirel first honed his skills on the court behind Uras’s apartment.

"My basketball story started with that hoop and after that I continued playing with my friends in Florya," Demirel has said.[3]

Professional career[edit]

His professional basketball career spanned 13 years, most of which he spent with Istanbul club Galatasaray. He retired as Galatasaray team captain in 1988 after having won two national championships. He also represented Turkey in international competition 41 times.[4]

During his playing career Demirel also took his first steps towards a successful business career, which included representing international companies such as Mikasa and Reebok in Turkey.[5]

President of Turkish Basketball Federation[edit]

In 1992 he became the first elected President of the Turkish Basketball Federation. He has been re-elected six times, most recently in September 2012.[6] He is also the Founder and President of the Foundation for Development and Education of Turkish Basketball.

Turkish basketball has undergone a dramatic transformation under Demirel’s leadership. In 1992 the Turkish Basketball Federation consisted of a three-person staff with a $600,000 annual budget.[7]

Today the Turkish Basketball Federation has an annual budget of $70–75 million.[8] Basketball is the country’s second-most popular sport, and Turkey has become a force in both international men’s and women’s basketball.[9] The Turkish men’s national team won silver at the Men’s Eurobasket in 2001 and finished sixth in the 2006 World Championship. It won silver at the 2010 World Championship, losing in the finals to the United States in the largest sporting event ever hosted on Turkish soil.[10]

FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann described it as “the most successful FIBA World Championship ever.” [11]

Today Turkey’s men’s national team is ranked 7th in FIBA’s international standings.[12]

Demirel has been the recipient of many honours over the course of his career in recognition of his service to Turkish basketball. Following Turkey’s success in the World Championship, Demirel was named Sportsman of the Year by the Sedat Simavi Journalists’ Association, Okan University,[13] and Milliyet Newspaper,[14] among others.

Women’s basketball in Turkey, which did not have a national team from 1968–1988, has also seen impressive growth and development under Demirel’s watch.[15] In 2005 the Turkish women’s national team made its first appearance in the EuroBasket finals, hosted in Turkey, and have qualified for every EuroBasket since. In 2011 it won the silver medal at EuroBasket. The team made its Olympic debut in the 2012 London games and finished fifth. In 2013 it won the bronze medal at EuroBasket. It is ranked 13th in FIBA’s international rankings, having risen from a prior ranking of 21st.[16]

Turkey has also achieved impressive success at the youth level. Most recently in 2013, the U18 men's team won the European Championship and the U20 women’s team won bronze at the European Championship.[17][18] In 2012 Turkey’s U16 men's team won the European Championship, and the U20 women’s team won bronze at the European Championship.[19]

Additionally, Turkey has become a prominent host for international basketball competitions. The Turkish Basketball Federation has hosted or been awarded the right to host all major international basketball competitions including the 2010 FIBA Men’s World Championship, the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, the 2012 Euroleague Women’s Final 8, the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final 4, the 2005 Women’s EuroBasket, and the 2001 Men’s EuroBasket. With the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, Turkey will become the first country to host every major FIBA men’s and women’s global and continental tournament.

As part of the Turkish Basketball Federation’s focus on developing the next generation of stars, Turkey often hosts international youth championships, including the 2013 U20 European Women's Championship and the 2006 U20 European Men's Championship.

In 2012 the Turkish Basketball Federation launched a new strategic plan “Project Powerhouse” which was described by FIBA as an “impressive and dynamic strategy” that has “left nobody in any doubts as to where they [TBF] are heading in the next few years." [20]

Demirel also has been active in the governance of European and international basketball. He is a member of the FIBA Finance Commission (2002—2014). He has served as a Vice President of FIBA Europe (2006—2010), a member of the Executive Committee (2006–2010), a board member of FIBA Europe (1994–2002 and 2006–2010), and a member of FIBA Europe’s Finance Commission (1994–1998).

He has served as a member of the Finance Commission (2002–2010), President of the Finance Commission (1998–2002), and a Member of the Marketing Group (1998–2002) at FIBA.

FIBA Europe Presidency[edit]

On May 17, 2014 at the FIBA Europe General Assembly, Demirel was elected President of FIBA Europe by a vote of 40–8. With his election victory he became the first Turk to lead the organization. His term runs through 2018.

"My aim is to help make basketball the fastest growing sport in Europe, through support of all 51 member federations, strong club competitions and the development of a new generation of stars,” Demirel said in his pre-election presentation. “A strong FIBA Europe should help all federations develop young talent as this is the cornerstone for the advancement of our sport."[21]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife Şebnem have one son and one daughter. He speaks English and German in addition to his native Turkish.[22]


  1. ^ http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_np,7Sp1QH6gBs9R33dW8-3.coid_OSFFCGNXJz2khlsV5DW9z1.articleMode_on.html.
  2. ^ Cemal A. Kalyoncu, “Zoraki Başkan,” Aksiyon, 27 February 1999
  3. ^ “Demirel: 1992’de üç kişi vardı,” Eurosport.com.
  4. ^ Cemal A. Kalyoncu, “Zoraki Başkan,” Aksiyon, 27 February 1999
  5. ^ Cemal A. Kalyoncu, “Zoraki Başkan,” Aksiyon, 27 February 1999
  6. ^ Ali Can Yaycılı, “Turgay Demirel, 6. kez TBF Başkanı seçildi,” Hürriyet, 18 September 2012. Bülent Karadaş, “Basketbolun patron yine Turgay Demirel,” Zaman, 19 September 2012.
  7. ^ “Demirel: 1992’de üç kişi vardı,” Eurosport.com.
  8. ^ Vahap Munyar, “Şirketler Basketbola yılda 100 milyon dolar harcıyor,” Hürriyet, 16 September 2012.
  9. ^ “Demirel maintains post as basketball’s top chief,” Hürriyet Daily News, 19 September 2012. Demirel: 1992’de üç kişi vardı,” Eurosport.com.
  10. ^ “Bir Uçuş Hikayesi,” Skylife, October 2010. “Kevin Durant scores 28 as USA beasts Turkey in gold-medal game,” ESPN.com.
  11. ^ http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/arti.asp?newsid=44596
  12. ^ http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/even/rank/p/openNodeIDs/943/selNodeID/943/rankMen.html
  13. ^ “Turgay Demirel'e 'Yılın Spor Adamı Ödülü,” Türkiye Basketbol Federasyonu, 2 October 2011.
  14. ^ “Turgay Demirel'e "Yılın Spor Adamı" Ödülü,” Türkiye Basketbol Federasyonu, 3 August 2011.
  15. ^ “Demirel: 1992’de üç kişi vardı,” Eurosport.com.
  16. ^ http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/even/rank/p/openNodeIDs/1000/selNodeID/1000/rankWome.html
  17. ^ http://u18men.fibaeurope.com/en/cid_2bqXUaQOJwYn9c2ymJyFx0.compID_8aYeHlfuGFmF5IqO8aFH1.season_2013.gameID_9439-72-A-1.html
  18. ^ http://u20women.fibaeurope.com/en/cid_FtjjjX0gGxw6o2JYq5YD90.compID_FBoLIZ9eGMw1MS4DX8h1D2.season_2013.gameID_9345-71-A-1.html
  19. ^ http://u16men.fibaeurope.com/en/cid_z8jOMILgHCsbXTL1wG4sq0.pageID_8KQhNM0eHvEppki2SOpcS0.compID_YUjW-7-FJ,kK9s431Lyr41.season_2013.html, http://u20women.fibaeurope.com/en/cid_FtjjjX0gGxw6o2JYq5YD90.pageID_sfXKIPh,GfI52P70EWhlN1.compID_FBoLIZ9eGMw1MS4DX8h1D2.season_2012.html
  20. ^ http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/fibaFamilyNews/p/newsid/51127/arti.html
  21. ^ http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_np,7Sp1QH6gBs9R33dW8-3.coid_OSFFCGNXJz2khlsV5DW9z1.articleMode_on.html
  22. ^ Cemal A. Kalyoncu, “Zoraki Başkan,” Aksiyon, 27 February 1999