About Turkey

The Turkish national football team played its first international match on 26 October 1926, drawing 2-2 with Romania in Istanbul.


The national team’s home colours are red, while their away kits are generally white with red trimming.


Turkey have appeared in two FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1954 in Switzerland and again in Korea and Japan in 2002. In the 2002 edition, Turkey shocked the world by making it to the semi-finals of the tournament, where they were narrowly knocked out by eventual winners Brazil. Turkey then defeated co-hosts South Korea 3-2 in the third place play-off match. For their achievement, the entire national team were awarded with a Medal of Distinguished Service by the Turkish state.


Turkey have participated in three European Championships, most recently in 2008 in Austria and Switzerland where they reached the semi-finals. Turkey were knocked out by Germany thanks to a last minute winner from Philipp Lahm. Turkey also participated in the 2003 Confederations Cup in France, where they finished third.


Turkey’s all-time leading goalscorer is Hakan Sukur, who scored 51 goals in 122 appearances. Goalkeeper Rustu Recber is the national team’s most capped player, with 133 caps to his name. Notable former players include Tuncay Sanli, Hasan Sas and Nihat Kahveci. Arda Turan currently captains the side, which also includes Hamit Altintop, Volkan Demirel and Nuri Sahin.


Fatih Terim is the national team’s manager, currently in his third spell with the side. Notable former managers include Guus Hiddink, Senol Gunes and Mustafa Denzili.