Süper Lig

This article is about the league in Turkey. For the league in Northern Cyprus, see KTFF Süper Lig.
Süper Lig
Country Turkey
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1956[1]
First season 1959 Milli Lig
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to TFF First League
Domestic cup(s) Turkish Cup
Turkish Super Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Beşiktaş (14 titles)
Most championships Galatasaray (20 titles)
Most capped player Oğuz Çetin (503 matches)[2]
Top goalscorer Hakan Şükür (249 goals)[3]
TV partners Lig TV
TRT (Highlights only)
MP & Silva (Global highlights)
Website Süper Lig
2016–17 Süper Lig

The Süper Lig (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈsypæɾ liɟ], Super League) is a Turkish professional league for association football clubs. It is the top-flight of the Turkish football league system. It is one of the top leagues in the UEFA confederation, and the winner of the competition automatically qualifies for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Eighteen clubs compete annually, where a champion is decided and three clubs are promoted and relegated from, and to, the 1. Lig. The season runs from August to May, with each club playing 34 matches. Matches are played Friday through Monday. It is sponsored by Spor Toto and therefore officially known as the Spor Toto Süper Lig.[4]

The competition formed as the Milli Lig in 1958. It was the first national league competition held in Turkey. Previously, league competitions took place in a few cities, including Adana, Ankara, Eskişehir, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, and Trabzon. It is currently ranked 11th in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years. A total of 67 clubs have competed in the Süper Lig, but just 5 have won the title: Galatasaray (20), Fenerbahçe (19), Beşiktaş (14), Trabzonspor (6) and Bursaspor (1).


Football in Turkey stems back to the late 19th century, when Englishmen brought the game with them while living in Thessaloníki. The first league competition was the Istanbul Football League, which took place in 1904–05. The first champions were Imogene FC. The league went through several variations until the creation of the Milli Lig in 1959. Between the creation of the Istanbul Football League and Milli Lig, several other city leagues took place: Adana (1923), Ankara (1923), Eskişehir (1920), Izmir (1923), Kayseri (1936), and Trabzon (1923). The Milli Küme was the first step towards a national league competition.

Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray match photo of the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

Started in 1937, the Milli Küme was an inter-city competition between clubs in Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir. The competition lasted until 1950. The Federation Cup was created in 1956 and used as a cup competition to decide a champion. This champion would go on to participate in the European Cup. The cup competition was held for two years until it was replaced by the Milli Lig. Beşiktaş won both times, and represented twice Turkey in the European Cup during the two-year span.[5][6][7]

The top clubs from Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir competed in the 1959 Milli Lig. The first season took place in the calendar year of 1959, instead of 1958-59, because the qualifying stages took place in 1958. The 16 clubs who competed in the first season were: Adalet (İstanbul), Altay (İzmir), Ankaragücü, Ankara Demirspor, Beşiktaş (İstanbul), Beykoz (İstanbul), Fatih Karagümrük (İstanbul), Fenerbahçe (İstanbul), Galatasaray (İstanbul), Gençlerbirliği (Ankara), Göztepe (İzmir), Hacettepe (Ankara), İstanbulspor, İzmirspor, Karşıyaka (İzmir Province) and Vefa (Istanbul). Just four of those clubs are still competing in the Süper Lig: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Gençlerbirliği. The first champions were Fenerbahçe and the first Gol Kralı (Goal King) was Metin Oktay. No clubs were promoted or relegated at the end of the first season.[8]

The 2.Lig (Second League) was created at the start of the 1963–64 season and the Milli Lig or Turkish National League became known as the 1.Lig (First League). Before the creation of a second league, the bottom three clubs competed with regional league winners in a competition called the Baraj Games. The top three teams of the seven team group were promoted to the Milli Lig. After the creation of a new second division in 2001, known as the 1.Lig, the formerly titled 1.Lig became the Süper Lig.[9] The Fenerbahçe vs Galatasaray is probably the most watched football game in Turkey.

Competition format

Current design of the Süper Lig Trophy, in use since 2015.

There are 18 clubs in the Süper Lig. During the course of the season (from August to May) each club plays the others twice (a double round robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to head record and then goal difference determine the winner. The three lowest placed teams are relegated to the 1.Lig and the top two teams from the 1.Lig, together with the winner of play-offs involving the third to sixth placed 1.Lig clubs, are promoted in their place.[10]

Qualification for European competitions

Qualification for European competitions is as follows: champions qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, runners-up qualify for the third qualifying round of the Champions League, third place qualifies for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, and fourth place qualifies for the second qualifying round of the same competition. A fifth spot is given to the winner of the Turkish Cup, who qualify for the play-off round of the Europa League. If the Turkish Cup winner has already qualified for European competition through their league finish, the next highest placed club in the league takes their place.


Main article: 2016–17 Süper Lig

Adanaspor, Kardemir Karabükspor and Alanyaspor were promoted from the 2015–16 TFF First League. Sivasspor, Eskişehirspor and Mersin İdmanyurdu were relegated to the 2016–17 TFF First League.

The following 18 clubs compete in the 2016–17 Süper Lig.

Club City Position in 2015–16 First season
in top division
Seasons in
top division
First season
of current spell
Top division
Last title
Adanaspor AdanaFirst League: 1st1971–72222016–17
Akhisar BelediyesporbAkhisar8th2012–1352012–13
AlanyasporbAlanyaFirst League: 3rd2016–1712016–17
Beşiktaş JKa bIstanbul1st1959591959142015–16
Çaykur RizesporRize13th1979–80172013–14
Fenerbahçea bIstanbul2nd1959591959192013–14
Galatasaraya bIstanbul6th1959591959202014–15
İstanbul BaşakşehirIstanbul4th2007–0892014–15
KarabüksporKarabükFirst League: 2nd1993–9492016–17

a Founding member of the Süper Lig
b Never been relegated from the Süper Lig


Only 5 clubs have been champions since the beginning of the Super League in 1959: Galatasaray 20 times, Fenerbahçe 19 times, Beşiktaş 12 times (with an additional 2 titles counted for star purposes, see note below), Trabzonspor 6 times, and Bursaspor 1 time.[11]

Team Winners Runners-up Years won
20 10 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
19 21 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
14[12] 14 1957*, 1958*, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2016
6 8 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2005,2011
Bursaspor 1 - 2010
Eskişehirspor - 3 1969, 1970, 1972
Adanaspor - 1 1981
Sivasspor - 1 2009

*NOTE: Beşiktaş formally requested that championships won in the 1956/57 and 1957/58 versions of the Turkish Federation Cup be counted as Turkish Professional First Division championships to the Turkish Football Federation. The ruling on this matter was announced in a press release on March 25, 2002 which indicated that the championships won by Beşiktaş in the Turkish Federation Cup will be considered as national league championship. Beşiktaş were given permission to represent Turkey in UEFA at the 1956/57 and 1957/58 seasons. [11]

Star rating system

Clubs are permitted to place a golden star above their crest on their uniforms for every five national championships won. For the 2015/16 season Galatasaray are permitted four golden stars, Fenerbahçe are permitted three golden stars, Beşiktaş are permitted two golden stars, and Trabzonspor are permitted one golden star to be placed above their crest on their jerseys.[13]

League participation

Note: The tallies below include the 2016-17 season.

Teams in bold play in 2016-17 Süper Lig. Dissolved teams in italic.

Player records

Top scorers

1 Hakan Şükür 249 487 0.51
2 Tanju Çolak 240 281 0.85
3 Hami Mandirali 218 477 0.46
4 Metin Oktay 217 258 0.84
5 Aykut Kocaman 212 348 0.61
6 Feyyaz Uçar 198 409 0.48
7 Serkan Aykut 147 559 0.26
8 Fevzi Zemzem 144 356 0.40
9 Necati Ateş 140 362 0.39
10 Cenk İşler 137 349 0.39

As of 26 January 2015

Most appearances

1 Oğuz Çetin 503 1981–2000
2 Rıza Çalımbay 494 1980–1996
3 Hakan Şükür 488 1987–2000, 2003–2008
4 Hami Mandıralı 476 1984–1998, 1999–2003
5 Kemal Yıldırım 475 1976–1995
6 Mehmet Nas 453 1997–2014
7 Recep Çetin 437 1984–2002
8 Bülent Korkmaz 430 1988–2005
9 Müjdat Yetkiner 429 1979–1995
10 Ömer Çatkıç 427 1995–2012

As of 18 May 2015


See also


  1. "History TFF". tff.org.tr. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  2. "Mackolik.com - iddaa, canlı sonuçlar, iddaa sonuçları, puan durumu, iddaa programı". Mackolik.com. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  3. "Hakan Şükür". Mackolik.com. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  4. "New Sponsor". SuperLigNews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  5. Sivritepe, Erdinç Before the Turkish leagues turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  6. Sivritepe, Erdinç Federation Cup 56/57 turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  7. Sivritepe, Erdinç Federation Cup 57/58 turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  8. Sivritepe, Erdinç 1959 Milli Lig turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  9. Sivritepe, Erdinç 1963-1964 1. Lig turkish-soccer.com, accessed 22 July 2010
  10. Official TFF competition rules
  11. 1 2 http://www.tff.org/default.aspx?pageID=379
  12. "Spor Toto Süper Lig Şampiyonlukları (Turkish)". Turkish Football Federation. http://www.tff.org/default.aspx?pageID=379
  13. Kárpáti, Tamás (21 May 2010). "List of champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  14. (Dissolved in 2011) Zonguldakspor
  15. (before 2004-05 season played as Kayserispor)
  16. (before 2004-05 season played as Kayseri Erciyesspor)
  17. (Dissolved in 2013)
  18. (before 2014-15 season played as İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor). İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor
  19. (Dissolved in 2011)
  20. (Dissolved in 2014) Siirtspor
  21. 1 2 "Türkiye Spor Toto Süper Lig". Mackolik.com. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
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