|Women's football in Turkey|
Turkish Women's Third Football League match during the 2015–16 season.
|Governing body||Turkish Football Federation|
|National team(s)||Women's national team|
Women's football in Turkey is the women's branch of football in Turkey and is governed by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).
Although Turkey is one of the first countries to adapt women's rights, its practical realization in every part of the society took time. Due to differentiation in the society between men's and women's sports, Turkish women fell behind men in sports. The slogan "football is a men's sport" caused that women were not interested in football in the early days. This incorrect assessment and approach hindered that the number of participants in women's football, like women audience, women footballers, women coaches, women managers and women referees, did not reach the desired level.
The first recorded involvement of women in football took place when six women played in a mixed-gender match in Izmir on 24 May 1954. The first ever football match of only women was played between the Izmir Women's Football team and Istanbul Women's Football team at Mithatpaşa Stadium in Istanbul, today Vodafone Park, on 4 July 1954. During a sports festival on 10 July 1955, one more football match was played between women's teams. There is no indication of women's football event between 1955 and 1969. On 22 August 1969, the first international women's football game in Turkey was played between Italy Girls' and the Joint-Europe Girls' teams at Mithatpaşa Stadium. The match ended with a draw of 1–1 while the Turkish player Afitap scored the only goal of the Joint-Europe team. In 1969, Kınalıada Sports Club in Istanbul formed a girls' football team, which played miniature football in the gym. The team later continued their activities competing against boys' football teams.
In 1971, Haluk Hekimoğlu formed a women's team named "Istanbul Kız Futbol Takımı" (Istanbul Girls' Football Team) with 13 young women on his own personal efforts. This team pioneered the foundation of the country's first women's football club Dostluk Spor (Turkish for "Friendship"), which was officially registered as an association on 19 April 1973 at Moda neighborhood of Kadıköy district in Istanbul.Due to lack of any other women's football teams, Dostluk Spor played demonstration games with men's teams of retired or junior players before some jubilee matches, derbies and season's opening games between 1973 and 1978. The team contributed much to the women's football in Turkey playing in many cities of the country. Their fundraising matches after the 1976 Çaldıran–Muradiye earthquake in Van, eastern Turkey helped growing of social responsibility in the society. The team's advertisement in the newspapers to recruit women players found positive response.
Dostluk Spor's success led soon to the establishment of other women's football teams such as Filizspor in İzmir formed in 1978 by the female students of the Namık Kemal High School,and İncirlispor, Nazende Spor in Ankara the same year. A friendly match played between Filizspor and Dostluk Spor at İzmir Alsancak Stadium ended with the Dostluk Spor's victory of 14–0. Foundation of women's teams in Kocaeli and Samsun followed later. In 1979, Dostluk Spor played a friendly match with the German team SC 07 Bad Neuenahr losing 0–4. This was Dostluk Spor team's first ever international match, and also the first ever international women's football match at clubs' level played in Turkey. On 17 August 1980, Dostluk Spor met Filizspor from Izmir again at Vefa Stadium, Istanbul. An outpoint like in the first match in 1978 was not possible this time, the team from Izmir was defeated only by 2–1. With the foundation of Atılımspor and Deryaspor in 1980, the number of women's football teams in Istanbul reached three.
With the formation of Dinarsu Women's Football Team in 1982, women's football in Turkey rose to higher levels.Finally, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) decided at its board meeting on December 22, 1993 to officially establish a league for women's football. Later on, the TFF published the format and the rules for the Turkish Women's Football League. On March 1, 1994, the schedule of the league matches was determined for a total of 16 teams in four groups to meet each other in turn. The beginning of the first women's league season was planned for March 20, 1994. However, the start was postponed to April 2–3 due to the 1994 local elections held on March 27.
Ten years later, there were ten teams active, and the Women's League was dissolved. According to Adnan Ersan, deputy secretary general of the TFF, the league based on a wrong system. The clubs paid barely attention to the provision of experience and training for young players. They did not look ahead for the future, and deployed players older than twenty years of age. Moreover, the women's national team played no matches from Mai 2000 on. A great many of factors, which sent women's football in Turkey into offside.
In 2006, the Turkish Women's League was re-established with seven teams, and the Turkish women participated again at international competitions. In the meantime, the government supported the development. The Turkish Ministry of National Education coined a concept in cooperation with the Football Federation that envisaged the establishment of girls' football teams in primary and secondary schools. The women's football in Turkey revived, however the national team was composed of young players of amateur-level experience only. National teams of girls' U-17 and U-15 were established in order to feed the women's national team. Young women's footballers in Germany with Turkish-background were seen as a fill-in to strengthen the national team qualitatively, and were called up.
|Season||No. of clubs||No. of players|
The number of women's clubs was seven with 130 licensed footballers in the 2005–06 season. As of the 2010–11 season, there were 72 clubs with 1,500 players.
As of the 2019–20 season, the following competition categories exist for women's football:
|Number of clubs by league and season|
|Source: Data from the archive of the Turkish Football Federation|
The Women's First League (Turkish : Kadınlar 1. Ligi) is the top national competition for women's football in Turkey. The league was established in 1993 starting with the 1993–94 season. The 2000–01 season was apparently the first official competition. Three consecutive seasons between 2003 and 2005 were not played. The number of clubs competing in the First League varied from season to season, and dropped from ten in the 2012–13 season to eight in the 2013–14 season. The last standing clubs are relegated to the lower Second League.
The following teams compete in the 2018–19 season:
The following teams played once in the First League:
League champion team represents Turkey at the UEFA Women's Champions League.
|Season||Club||City||No. of clubs|
|1998–99||Zara Ekinlispor (2)||Istanbul||14|
|2003–04||no league played|
|2004–05||no league played|
|2005–06||no league played|
|2006–07||Gazi Üniversitesispor (2)||Ankara||15|
|2007–08||Gazi Üniversitesispor (3)||Ankara||15|
|2009–10||Gazi Üniversitesispor (4)||Ankara||10|
|2011–12||Ataşehir Belediyespor (2)||Istanbul||12|
|2013–14||Konak Belediyespor (2)||Izmir||8|
|2014–15||Konak Belediyespor (3)||Izmir||10|
|2015–16||Konak Belediyespor (4)||Izmir||10|
|2016–17||Konak Belediyespor (5)||Izmir||10|
|2017–18||Ataşehir Belediyespor (3)||Istanbul||10|
|2019–20||ALG Spor 1)||Istanbul||12|
The Women's Second League (Turkish : Kadınlar 2. Ligi) is the regional organization for all the clubs, which do not take part in the Women's First League. At the end of each league season, last placed teams of the First League are relegated to the Second League. The top standing teams of the Second League are promoted to the First League. Since there exist no lower level league than the Second League, no relegation takes place from this league.
In the 2013–14 season, a total of 69 teams competed in eight divisions as following:
With the 2015–16 season, the number of teams competing in the Second League was set to twelve. The teams are:
The Turkish Women's Third Football League is a regional league and is composed of fifteen groups with five to six teams each, making a total of 85 women's teams.
The Turkish Women's Regional Football League (Turkish : Kadın Futbolu Bölgesel Ligi) existed two seasons between 2009 and 2011. 20 to 21 teams competed in four groups. Four seasons after its establishment, the Women's Third League was established in the 2014–15 season.
As of the 2016–17 season, the Turkish Football Federation set following player eligibility criteria for the number of players in the teams playing in three women's leagues. Reference date for the player's age in the table is the beginning of the season.Some minpr changes took place in the 2018-19 season.
|Age 13||max. 2||max. 2||max. 4|
|Age group 14–28|
|Age group >28||max. 5||max. 5||max. 5|
The first Girls' U-13 Football League ("Minik Kızlar Futbol Ligi") was established in Istanbul in 2016 by the Istanbul Amateur Sport Clubs Federation as a regional league. 5 m × 2 m (16.4 ft × 6.6 ft), for two 30 minutes. Seven teams competed in two groups in the first 2015-16 league season. In 2019, 12 teams competed in two groups.The regulations were in conform with of the Turkey Girl's U-13 Championship set by the Turkish Football Federation. The teams consisted of eight players and six reserves. However, it was not allowed for a team to have less than five players on the pitch. The match was played on the half size of a regular field, with a goalpost frame of
For the girls of age group 15–16, the Girls' U-17 Turkey Championship (Turkish : Genç Kızlar Şampiyonası) is being held. It is an important organization in respect of the development of women's football in Turkey.
The first leg of the 2009 Women's U-17 Turkey Championship (Turkish : Genç Kızlar Türkiye Şampiyonası) was held between July 9–12, 2009 with the participation of 36 clubs in six groups across Turkey each having six teams. The top first teams of the six groups were entitled to play the finals. The finals were held between July 23–25, 2009 in Bartın. Mevlana Lisesi from Ümraniye, Istanbul became champion of the 2008–09 season defeating Izmir Konak Belediyespor by 1–0 in the final match.
The Girls' U-17 Championship developed rapidly in the following years so that the number of participating teams increased from 27 in 2008 to 110 in 2018.
The Turkish Football Federation announced by August 2019 in its 2019-20 season's competition status that the Girls' U-17 Championship was abolished. The decision was sharply criticized by some women's football club managers. It was claimed that girl footballers of age group 16-17 will be forced to play in the senior team of their club with the disadvantage of appearing against older and much experienced opponents.
The Girls' U-15 Turkey Championship (Turkish : Yıldız Kızlar Şampiyonası) is organized for the girls' teams in the age category 13–14.
It was held in the 2008–09 season between July 18–20, 2009 with the participation of six teams in two groups. The leaders of the two groups, Kocaeli Gölcükspor and Bursa Sağlıkgücüspor, played the finals in Düzce. Gölcükspor became champion by winning 3–0.
Horozkentspor (Denizli) won the 2016 championship title. Kocaeli Harb-İş became runner-up and Konak Belediyespor (Izmir) placed third.
The Girls' U-13 Local Championships Turkish : U-13 Kızlar Yerel Şampiyonaları) are held in provinces, where at least four teams participate. The teams consists of a goalkeeper, seven players and five substitutes.
Women's football in Turkey is represented in international competitions by:
A 2013-FIFA report stated that Turkey makes serious efforts to develop a strong women's national team at senior level by using foreign resources. Turkish-descent female players from diverse nations, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, are called up to international events.The idea behind is the hope that the experience of these players will help improve the standards, and give the youngsters at home a boost.
By virtue of winning 2008–09 Turkey National Women's First League, Trabzonspor played in August 2009 in the Group D for qualification to the 2009–10 UEFA Women's Champions League. This was the first time ever a Turkish women's football team participated in the play-offs for the UEFA league established in the 2001–2002 season.The team won its first match against ŽNK Krka from Slovenia by 2–0, however lost the following plays to Torres Calcio Femminile of Italy by 0–9 and to Slovan Duslo Šaľa from Slovakia by 1–2. Trabzonspor women's team failed so to participate in the 2009–2010 UEFA Champions League.
In the following years, Gazi Üniversitesispor in 2010–11, Ataşehir Belediyespor, twice in 2011–12 and 2012–13, and Konak Belediyespor, also twice in 2013–14 and 2014–15, played in the UEFA Women's Champions League. In the 2013–14 season, Konak Belediyespor became the first ever Turkish women's team to play in the league's Round of 16 knockout phase.
|2011–12||Ataşehir Belediyespor (1)||3||0||1||2||3||9||−6||Qualifying|
|2012–13||Ataşehir Belediyespor (2)||3||1||0||2||5||10||−5||Qualifying|
|2013–14||Konak Belediyespor (1)||7||5||0||2||7||8||−1||Round of 16|
|2014–15||Konak Belediyespor (2)||3||2||0||1||13||5||+8||Qualifying|
|2015–16||Konak Belediyespor (3)||3||1||0||2||7||14||−7||Qualifying|
|2016–17||Konak Belediyespor (4)||3||1||0||2||7||8||−1||Qualifying|
|2017–18||Konak Belediyespor (5)||3||2||0||1||11||4||+7||Qualifying|
|2018–19||Ataşehir Belediyespor (3)||3||1||1||1||10||10||0||Qualifying|
Gülbin Hız is a Turkish women's football midfielder currently playing in the Turkish Women's First Football League for ALG Spor with jersey number 10. She was part of the Turkey girls' national U-17, Turkey women's national U-19 and Turkey women's national team.
Buse Güngör is a Turkish women's football attacking midfielder currently playing in the Women's First League for Kireçburnu Spor with jersey number 20. She is a member of the Turkey women's national U-19 team.
Ümran Özev is a Turkish women's football midfielder currently playing in the Turkish Women's Second Football League for Hakkarigücü Spor with jersey number 12. She is part of the Turkey women's national U-19 team.
İlkadım Belediyesi Yabancılar Pazarı Spor is a women's football team based in İlkadım district of Samsun, Turkey. The club is chaired by Sezai Onaran, and its manager is Arif İmamoğlu.
Semanur Akbaş is a Turkish women's football striker currently playing in the Turkish Women's Third Football League for Konyaaltı Gençlik ve Spor with jersey number 9.
Eda Karataş is a Turkish women's football defender currently playing in the First League for Ataşehir Belediyespor with jersey number 52. She is a member of the Turkish national team.
Demet Kılınç is a Turkish women's football forward currently playing in the First League for Amed S.K. with jersey number 17. She played for the Turkish girls' national U-15 team, and currently is a member of the Turkey girls' national U-15, girls' U-17 and women's U-19 teams.
Birgül Sadıkoğlu is a Turkish women's football midfielder currently playing in the Turkish Women's First Football League for Konak Belediyespor with jersey number 13. She played for the Turkey U-17 and U-19 teams before she became a member of the Turkey national team.
Ece Türkoğlu is a Turkish women's football midfielder currently playing in the Turkish Women's First League as captain for Kdz. Ereğli Belediye Spor with jersey number 10. She was part of the Turkey girls' national U-15 team, is still member of the girls' national U-17 and women's national U-19 teams.
Derya Arhan is a Turkish footballer who plays as a defender for Turkish Women's First Football League club ALG Spor and the Turkey women's national team. She was part of the Turkey national women's U-15, women's U-17 and women's U-19 teams.
1207 Antalya Döşemealtı Belediye Spor, a.k.a. 1207 Antalyaspor, is a women's football team based in Antalya playing in the Turkish Women's First Football League. Current chairman of the club is Süleyman Türk.
Beşiktaş Women's Football is the women football section of Beşiktaş JK, a major sports club in Istanbul, Turkey.
Sude Mihri Çınar is a Turkish women's football goalkeeper currently playing in the Turkish Women's First Football League for Ataşehir Belediyespor in Istanbul with jersey number 1. She was a member of the Turkey women's U-19 national team.
İlayda Civelek is a Turkish women's football midfielder, who plays in the First League for ALG Spor with jersey number 23. She played for the Turkey women's U-19 team before she was admitted to the Turkey women's team.
Şevval Alpavut is a Turkish women's football defender currently playing in the First League for Ataşehir Belediyespor with jersey number 9. She is a member of the Turkish national team.
The 2018–19 season of the Turkish Women's First Football League is the 23rd season of Turkey's premier women's football league.
Aslı Canan Sabırlı is a Turkish women's footballer who plays as a defender for ALG Spor. She was a member of the Turkey girls' national under-17 and under-19 teams. In addition to her squad membership, she serves as technical director of her team.
The 2019–20 season of the Turkish Women's First Football League is the 24th season of Turkey's premier women's football league.
Galatasaray Women's Football is a defunct women's football section of Galatasaray S.K., a major sports club in Istanbul, Turkey. It was active four years between 2012 and 2016.
Melike Öztürk is a Turkish women's football forward, who plays in the First League for Ataşehir Belediyespor with jersey number 11. She was a member of the girls' national U-17 and women's U-19 teams before she was admitted to the Turkey women's team.
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