Women's football in Turkey

Women's football in Turkey is the women's branch of football in Turkey and is governed by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).[1]

For more in depth, albeit general information see Football in Turkey.
Women's football in Turkey
Turkish Women's Third Football League match of Silivri Alibey Spor (blue/black) vs 1453 Maltepe Gençlik Spor (white) in the 2015–16 season.
Governing bodyTurkish Football Federation
National team(s)Women's national team
International competitions


Friendship matches

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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[2]

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,[2] 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.[2] Foundation of women's teams in Kocaeli and Samsun followed later.[3] 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.[2]

Establishment of leagues

With the formation of Dinarsu Women's Football Team in 1982, women's football in Turkey rose to higher levels.[3] 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.[3][4]

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.[5]

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.[5]

Development of women's football in Turkey
Season No. of clubsNo. 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.[6]


As of the 2019–20 season, the following competition categories exist for women's football:[1]

Women's leagues

Number of clubs by league and season

Total: 990

Regional League (45)
Third League (503)
Second League (279)
First League (163)
Source: Data from the archive of the Turkish Football Federation

Women's First League

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.[7] The last standing clubs are relegated to the lower Second League.[8]

The following teams compete in the 2018–19 season:

  1. ALG Spor, Gaziantep
  2. Amed S.K., Diyarbakır
  3. Ataşehir Belediyespor, Istanbul
  4. Beşiktaş J.K., Istanbul
  5. Fatih Vatan Spor, Istanbul
  6. Hakkarigücü Spor, Hakkari
  7. Kdz. Ereğlispor, Karadeniz Ereğli
  8. Kireçburnu Spor, Istanbul
  9. Konak Belediyespor, Izmir
  10. Trabzon İdmanocağı, Trabzon

The following teams played once in the First League:

  1. 1207 Antalyaspor, Antalya
  2. Adana İdmanyurduspor, Adana
  3. Amasya Eğitim Spor, Amasya
  4. Antalya Yenikapıspor, Antalya
  5. Beden Eğitimispor
  6. Bucaspor, Izmir
  7. Bursa Sağlıkgücü Gençlikspor, Bursa
  8. Çamlıcaspor, Istanbul
  9. Derince Belediyespor, Kocaeli
  10. Dostluk Spor, Istanbul
  11. Elitspor, Izmir
  12. Eskişehirspor, Eskişehir
  13. Eskişehir Lisesi Spor, Eskişehir
  14. Fomget Gençlik Spor, Ankara
  15. Gazi Üniversitesispor, Ankara
  16. Gazikentspor, Gaziantep
  17. Gölcükspor, Kocaeli
  18. Hatay Dumlupınarspor, Hatay
  19. İlkadım Belediyesi Spor, Samsun
  20. İzmit Çenesuyu Plajyoluspor, Kocaeli
  21. İzmit Belediyespor, Kocaeli
  22. Karşıyaka BESEM Spor, Izmir
  23. Kartalspor, Istanbul
  24. Lüleburgaz 39 Spor, Kırklareli
  25. Malatya Gençlikspor, Malatya
  26. Maltepe Yalıspor, Istanbul
  27. Marmara Üniversitesi Spor, Istanbul
  28. Mersin Camspor, Mersin
  29. Mersin Gençlerbirliği, Mersin
  30. Mersingücü Cengiz Topelspor, Mersin
  31. Sakarya Yenikent Güneşspor, Sakarya
  32. Soyaspor Gençlik, Ordu
  33. Trabzonspor, Trabzon
  34. Zeytinburnuspor, Istanbul

League champion team represents Turkey at the UEFA Women's Champions League.[8]

SeasonClubCityNo. of clubs
1997–98Zara EkinlisporIstanbul19
1998–99Zara EkinlisporIstanbul14
1999-00Delta MobilyasporIstanbul11
2002–03Gazi ÜniversitesisporAnkara10
2003–04no league played
2004–05no league played
2005–06no league played
2006–07Gazi ÜniversitesisporAnkara15
2007–08Gazi ÜniversitesisporAnkara15
2009–10Gazi ÜniversitesisporAnkara10
2010–11Ataşehir Belediyespor[10]Istanbul12
2011–12Ataşehir Belediyespor[11]Istanbul12
2012–13Konak Belediyespor[12]Izmir10
2013–14Konak Belediyespor[13]Izmir8
2014–15Konak BelediyesporIzmir10
2015–16Konak BelediyesporIzmir10
2016–17Konak BelediyesporIzmir10
2017–18Ataşehir BelediyesporIstanbul10
2018–19Beşiktaş J.K.Istanbul10

Women's Second League

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.[8]

In the 2013–14 season, a total of 69 teams competed in eight divisions as following:[7]

With the 2015–16 season, the number of teams competing in the Second League was set to twelve. The teams are:

  1. Ağrı Birlikspor, Ağrı
  2. Amasya Eğitim Spor, Amasya
  3. Beşiktaş J.K., Istanbul
  4. Derince Belediyespor, Kocaeli
  5. Fomget Gençlik ve Spor, Ankara
  6. Hakkarigücü, Hakkari
  7. Karşıyaka BESEM Spor, Izmir
  8. Nusaybin Gençlik ve Spor, Mardin
  9. Ovacık Gençlik ve Spor, Karabük
  10. Van BŞB Spor, Van
  11. Vatan Halk Ounları ve Gençlikspor, Bursa
  12. Osmaniye Demirspor, Osmaniye

Women's Third League

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.

Group 1 (Marmara Region)
  1. Akdeniz Nurçelik, Istanbul
  2. Bakırköy Gençlik, Istanbul
  3. Bakırköy Zara, Istanbul
  4. CFS Bağcılar, Istanbul
  5. Dudulluspor, Istanbul
  6. Fatih Vatan Spor, Istanbul
  7. 1453 Maltepe Spor, Istanbul
  8. Sarıyer Belediyespor, Istanbul
  9. Silivri Alibey Spor, Istanbul
  10. Çerkezköy 1923 Spor, Tekirdağ
  11. Tekirdağ Gençlik Hizmetleri Spor, Tekirdağ
Group 2 (Aegean Region)
  1. Balıkesir Harb-İş, Balıkesir
  2. Gemlik Zeytinspor, Bursa
  3. Akpınar Spor
  4. Bozüyük Halk Eğitim Gençlik ve Spor, Bilecik
  5. Eskişehir Çamlıca Gençlikspor, Eskişehir
  6. Elitspor, Izmir
  7. 7 Eylül Gençlik Spor, Aydın
  8. Denizli Hanbat Spor, Denizli
  9. Pau Gençlik Spor
  10. Manisa Esnaf ve Gençlik Spor, Manisa
Group 3 (Western Black Sea Region)
  1. Düzce Gençlik Hizmetleri, Düzce
  2. Düzce 81 İrem Spor, Düzce
  3. Karşıyaka Kolejispor, Sakarya
  4. Kocarli Gölcük Hatb-İş Spor, Kocaeli
  5. Sinop İl Özel İdare, Sinop
  6. Sinop TML Kız Spor Lisesi, Sinop
  7. Sakarya Bayan Futbol, Sakarya
  8. Zonguldak Gençlik Merkezi, Zonguldak
  9. Karabük Gençlik ve Spor, Karabük
  10. Ankara Metropol Spor, Ankara
Group 4 (Eastern Black Sea region)
  1. Gülizar Hasan Yılmaz Gençlik Spor, Samsun
  2. Ayvacık Gençlik ve Spor
  3. Kanal Boyu Nilüfer Spor
  4. Kavakmeydan Spor, Trabzon
  5. Denizüstü Spor Kulübü
  6. Trabzon Kardelen, Trabzon
  7. Soyaspor, Ordu
  8. Giresun Sanayispor, Giresun
  9. Dereli ÇPL Spor
  10. Sivas Gazi Lisesi Spor, Sivas
Group 5 (Mediterranean Region)
  1. Konya İdmanyurduspor, Konya
  2. Konya Profesyonel Bayan Eğitim Merkezi Spor, Konya
  3. Antalya Konyaaltı Gençlik ve Spor, Antalya
  4. Karaman Yunuskent Spor, Karaman
  5. Mersin Cam Spor, Mersin
  6. Mersin Gençlerbirliği, Mersin
  7. Tarsus Gençlerbirliği, Mersin
  8. Hamidiyespor
  9. Adana Akdeniz Demirspor, Adana
  10. Adanagücü Spor, Adana
Group 6 (Southeastern Anatolia Region)
  1. Kahramanmaraş Anadolu Gençlik, Kahramanmaraş
  2. Maraşgücü Spor, Kahramanmaraş
  3. Akçakoyunlu İdmanyursu Spor
  4. Gaziantep Karataş Spor, Gaziantep
  5. Güneykent Spor
  6. İskenderun Dumlupınar Gençlik Spor, Hatay
  7. Şanlıurfa Gençlik Spor, Şanlıurfa
  8. Hatay Sümerspor, Hatay
  9. Tavla Belediyespor
  10. Dörtyol Belediyespor, hatay
Group 7 (Central Anatolia Region)
  1. Güneşspor, Kayseri
  2. Kayseri Atletikspor, Kayseri
  3. Kayseri Gençlerbirliği, Kayseri
  4. Kılıçaslan Yıldızspor
  5. Yıldırım Beyazıt Şafakspor, Kayseri
  6. Yokat Erbaa, Tokat
  7. TOKİ Gençlik, Tokat
  8. Ufuk Keleş Gençlik Spor
  9. Galata Sağlık Sanat Spor
  10. Malatya Bayalar Spor, Malatya
Group 8 (Eastern Anatolia Region)
  1. Erzincan Gençlergücü, erzincan
  2. Geçit Bld Spor, Erzincan
  3. Amed Sportif Faaliyetler Kulübü
  4. Anadolu Harput Spor
  5. Elazığ Bordo Atletikspor, Elazığ
  6. 1955 Batman Belediyespor, Batman
  7. Siirt Hasbeyspor, Siirt
  8. Muş Yağmur Spor, Muş
  9. Muş Kartal Spor, Muş
  10. Bayazıtspor, Ağrı
  11. 76 Iğdır, Iğdır

Women's Regional League

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.[14]

Player eligibility

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.[15]

Age 13max. 2max. 2max. 4
Age group 14–28
Age group >28max. 5max. 5max. 5
Foreignermax. 4

Turkey championships

Girls' U-17 Turkey Championship

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.[8]

The first leg of the 2008–09 Women's U17 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.[16] 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.[17]

The 2016 championship was won by Kocaeli Harb-İş. Konya İdmanyurdu placed second and Fomget Gençlik (Ankara) third.[18]

Girls' U-15 Turkey Championship

The Girls' U-15 Turkey Championship (Turkish: Yıldız Kızlar Şampiyonası) is organized for the girls' teams in the age category 13–14.[8]

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.[19]

Horozkentspor (Denizli) won the 2016 championship title. Kocaeli Harb-İş became runner-up and Konak Belediyespor (Izmir) placed third.[20]

Girls' U-13 Local Championships

The Girls' U-13 Local Championships Turkish: U-13 Kızlar Yerel Şampiyonaları) are hold in provinces, where at least four teams participate. The teams consists of a goalkeeper, seven players and five substitutes.[21]

National teams

Women's football in Turkey is represented in international competitions by:[1]

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.[22] 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.[23]

UEFA Women's Champions League

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.[24] 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.[25]

In the following years, Gazi Üniversitesispor in 2010–11, [[Ataşehir Advanced Special characters Help Cite 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.

UEFA Women's Champions League
2009–10 Trabzonspor 3102311−8Qualifying
2010–11 Gazi Üniversitesispor 3012322−19Qualifying
2011–12 Ataşehir Belediyespor 301239−6Qualifying
2012–13 Ataşehir Belediyespor 3102510−5Qualifying
2013–14 Konak Belediyespor 750278−1Round of 16
2014–15 Konak Belediyespor 3201135+8Qualifying
2015–16 Konak Belediyespor 3102714−7Qualifying
2016–17 Konak Belediyespor 310278−1Qualifying
2017–18 Konak Belediyespor 3201114+7Qualifying
2018–19 Ataşehir Belediyespor 311110100Qualifying
2019–20 Beşiktaş J.K. 312063+3Qualifying

See also


  1. "Bayan futbolu geliştirme" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  2. "Türkiye'de Kadın Futbolunun Tarihçesi" (in Turkish). Futbol Ekonomisi & Endüstriyel Futbol. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  3. Durkal, Koray (2012-03-08). "Türkiye'nin ilk kadın futbol takımı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-10-17.
  4. Özgen, İlhan (20 March 2014). "Bir Dinaesu Vardı, N'oldu?". Toptak Saha (in Turkish). Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  5. "Türkei will sich im Frauenfußball etablieren" (in German). Women Soccer. 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  6. "Bayan Futbol" (in Turkish). Konak Belediyesi. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  7. "1. Lig Fikstür Puan Cetveli 2013–14" (in Turkish). Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  8. "Kadın Futbolu" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  9. Schöggl, Hans (2009-07-16). "Turkey – List of Women Champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  10. "Ataşehir'in Sultanları Şampiyon" (in Turkish). atasehir.bel.tr. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  11. "ATAŞEHİR wins title" (in Turkish). karaman.ca. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  12. "Konak champion" (in Turkish). trtspor.com.tr. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  13. "Konak Belediyespor Bayan Futbol Takımı Namağlup Şampiyon". Milliyet (in Turkish). 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2014-05-11.
  14. "Kadın Futbol Ligleri Arşiv Sayfası" (in Turkish). Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  15. "Kadın liglerine katılım başvuruları başlıyor" (in Turkish). Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. 2016-09-23. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  16. "Genç Bayanlar (U17) Türkiye Şampiyonası Programı ve Statüsü" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  17. "U17 Genç Bayanlar Türkiye Şampiyonu İstanbul Mevlana Lisesi oldu" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  18. "2016 Genç Kızlar Türkiye Şampiyonu Kocaeli Harb-İş oldu" (in Turkish). Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  19. "Yıldız Bayanlar (U15) Türkiye Şampiyonu Gölcükspor oldu" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  20. "Yıldız Kızlar Türkiye Şampiyonası'nda zafer Horozkentspor'un" (in Turkish). Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  21. "2017–2018 Sezonu Kadın Futbol Ligleri Müsabakaları Statüsü – VII. U-13 Kızlar Yerel Şampiyonaları" (PDF) (in Turkish). Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  22. "A Bayan Milli Takımı'nın Avusturya maçı aday kadrosu açıklandı". Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  23. "Turkey takes a global view for future growth". FIFA Football Development – Women's Football. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  24. "Trabzonspor, Slovenya'ya Gitti" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  25. "Trabzonspor 1–2 FK Slovan Duslo Sala" (in Turkish). TFF. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
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