Turkey - Sports

Sports

The most popular sport in Turkey is association football (soccer). Turkey's top teams include Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor. In 2000, Galatasaray cemented its role as a major European club by winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. Two years later the Turkish national team finished third in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan and South Korea, while in 2008 the national team reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 2008 competition. The Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, while the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Istanbul hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final.

Other mainstream sports such as basketball and volleyball are also popular. Turkey hosted the finals of EuroBasket 2001 and the finals of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, winning second place on both occasions; while Efes Pilsen S.K. won the Korać Cup in 1996, finished second in the Saporta Cup of 1993, and made it to the Final Four of Euroleague and Suproleague in 2000 and 2001. Turkish basketball players such as Mehmet Okur and Hedo Turkoglu have also been successful in the NBA. Women's volleyball teams, namely Fenerbahçe, Eczacıbaşı and Vakıfbank Güneş Sigorta have won numerous European championship titles and medals.

The traditional Turkish national sport has been yağlı güreş (oiled wrestling) since Ottoman times. Edirne has hosted the annual Kırkpınar oiled wrestling tournament since 1361. International wrestling styles governed by FILA such as Freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling are also popular, with many European, World and Olympic championship titles won by Turkish wrestlers both individually and as a national team.

Weightlifting has been a successful Turkish sport. Turkish weightlifters, both male and female, have broken numerous world records and won several European, World and Olympic championship titles. Naim Süleymanoğlu and Halil Mutlu have achieved legendary status as one of the few weightlifters to have won three gold medals in three Olympics.

Motorsports are also popular in Turkey. The Rally of Turkey was included in the FIA World Rally Championship calendar in 2003, while Formula One race weekends held at the Istanbul Park racing circuit occurred annually between the 2005 and 2011 Formula One seasons. The Turkish Grand Prix was, however, not included in the 2012 Formula One season's calendar. Other important annual motorsports events which are held at the Istanbul Park racing circuit include the MotoGP Grand Prix of Turkey, the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the GP2 Series and the Le Mans Series. From time to time Istanbul and Antalya also host the Turkish leg of the F1 Powerboat Racing championship; while the Turkish leg of the Red Bull Air Race World Series, an air racing competition, takes place above the Golden Horn in Istanbul. Surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, paragliding and other extreme sports are becoming more popular every year.

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Famous quotes containing the word sports:

    Falling in love is the right adventure for those who dislike sports and travel.
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