Fenerbahce Sport Club
Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu, commonly known as Fenerbahce, is a sports club of
Istanbul, Turkey. The team is based in the district of Istanbul named Fenerbahce.
The name of the district and the sports club derives from the lighthouse located
in the district ('Fener' in Turkish means 'lighthouse', 'bahce' means garden).
The most popular branch of the club by far is the football team, but the club
also competes in basketball, volleyball, rowing, boxing, sailing, athletics,
swimming and table tennis. Fenerbahce's football branch currently plays in the
Turkcell Super Lig. They are nicknamed the Yellow Canaries and play their home
games at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadyumu in Kadikoy. Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, was
selected to host the 2009 UEFA Cup final.
Fenerbahçe are the most successful Turkish club of all time, amassing over100 titles in their one hundred year history. Fenerbahçe also hold the record of most Turkish First Football League titles won, seventeen, and most Istanbul Football League titles, winning sixteen. Under current chairman Aziz Yıldırım, the club has won four titles in eight years. In the process, Fenerbahçe has become the most financially successful Turkish club. Fenerbahçe's centenary year included success in almost every other branch. Most notably are the men's and women's basketball teams.
Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu was first founded in 1899. In those times, there were
no football teams in the Ottoman Empire as it was forbidden to play football. In
Kadikoy (Fenerbahce's home) some Turkish men were playing football in "Papaz'in
cayiri". Papaz'in cayiri is the same place where the Sukru Saracoglu Stadyumu
was built. These men founded the first football club Black Stockings in
the Ottoman Empire. Black Stockings were shutdown by the Sultan's men soon
thereafter but, 8 years later, in 1907, most of the same people founded the
Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu.
Nurizade Ziya Songulen, Ayetullah and Necip Okaner created Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu a century ago in 1907. The club had to be kept under wraps because of the strict Ottoman rule, under which Turkish youth were not allowed to set up clubs or play football, according to the Sultan Abdul Hamid's ruling. Songulen was elected the first president of the club, Ayetullah became the first General Secretary, and Okaner was given the post of the General Captain. The lighthouse situated on the Fenerbahce cape was a big influence on the design of the club's first emblem, which sported the yellow and white colors of daffodils around the lighthouse. It wasn't until 1910 that the emblem and colors of the club changed, when Topuz Hikmet redesigned the badge and changed the colors to yellow and navy, still seen now. Fenerbahce's activities were kept in secrecy until a legislation change in 1908, when, under a new law, all football clubs had to register to exist legally. In 1959, the TFF founded a national league, which continues today under the name of the Turkiye Super Ligi. The next year they participated in the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
In 1918, after World War I, Istanbul was occupied by the British and French armies, like all of Anatolia. From 1918 to 1923, Fenerbahce played 50 matches against the teams of occupying powers and won 41 of these matches, losing just 4. Fenerbahce's victories were a great boost to the morale of the Turkish soldiers and public alike, making the Fenerbahce most popular team in Turkey. 25 million fans in Turkey.