Galatasaray Spor Kulübü, also known simply as Galatasaray, is a Turkish football club based on the European side of the city of Istanbul. It is the association football branch of the larger Galatasaray Sports Club, itself a part of the Galatasaray Community Cooperation Committee which includes the prestigious Lycée de Galatasaray, where the football club was founded in October 1905 consisting entirely of students members.
The new home ground of Galatasaray is the newly built Türk Telekom Stadium in the Aslantepe quarter near Maslak financial district in Şişli. The new stadium, which was opened 15 January 2011, has a capacity of 52,695 seats, making it the largest private stadium owned by a club in Turkey.
Galatasaray is the most successful Turkish football club. They have won 20 Süper Lig titles, 17 Turkish Cups and 15 Turkish Super Cups. It is one of three teams to have participated in all seasons of the Süper Lig since 1959, following the dissolution of the Istanbul Football League, and are the only club to have won the Süper Lig in four successive seasons.
Internationally, Galatasaray has won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000, becoming the first and only Turkish team to win a major UEFA competition. In the 1999–2000 season, the club achieved the rare feat of completing a quadruple by winning the Süper Lig, the Turkish Cup, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in a single season. Galatasaray is also the only Turkish club to have been ranked first on the IFFHS World Rankings.
The club has a long-standing rivalry with other major Istanbul teams, namely with Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe. The derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe is dubbed the Kıtalar Arası Derbi (English: Intercontinental Derby) due to the location of their headquarters and stadiums on the European (Galatasaray) and Asian (Fenerbahçe) sides of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul.
As a result of the team’s 20th championship for the 2014–15 Süper Lig season, their logo hereafter contains four stars representing their 20 championships for the league; each star corresponds to the team’s five championships.
Next to major sportive achievements, Galatasaray is successfully engaged in the community. The aim of the social activities of the clubs is to use the power of football and the brand name of Galatasaray to motivate and inspire people and communities. The club is working with charity partners as UNICEF to have a social impact.
Community and Social Responsibility engagement
With the aim of raising awareness of children’s rights, Galatasaray started a cooperating with UNICEF, the first one of its kind in Turkey. After the #90minsforhope initiative, organised by the ECA collected a donation €1.3m for UNICEF, Galatasaray decided to team up with UNICEF by signing a cooperation agreement. The collaboration focuses on raising awareness for children’s rights. After FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Olympiacos, Galatasaray is the forth club to join the initiative. Galatasaray sees it as their responsibility to invest in today’s children, thereby making sure that fans and athletes are able to find their place in society. Through the UNICEF cooperation, Galatasaray aims at helping children, including those who had to flew their countries and find themselves separated from their homes.
Galatasaray aims at reaching out to the most disadvantaged groups of society, thereby, in particular considering children and the youth. Also, the first team players Galatasaray are showing their support, visiting hospitals, sending jerseys and inviting disadvantaged people to games and training sessions. The club Galatasaray aims to keep their club as inclusive as possible and always welcomes disadvantaged people as victims of disasters, families and among others families of martyred soldiers. Especially the possibility to escort players on the field before a match has shown to be a great way to reach out to society and to create a very special moment for people who feel excluded from society.
For years, kids in Turkey sneaked into the stadium without tickets to watch the match next to their fathers in the stands. What took plays throughout the 20th century also did not change with the start of the new millennium. Children kept being ignored, even when clubs started sanctioning the conduct and reorganised the stands in a way that the children were in the stands together with women. However, in the season 2016/2017 Galatasaray took action after the society was reminded that children are entitled to the same rights as adults are.
Since the 2016/2017 season, Galatasaray reserves 1500 season tickets on the northeast stand for children. Next to that, children that are linked to the Society for the Protection of Children, certain NGO, the Galatasaray Sports Academy, the Nef’s Education Foundation and children of martyred soldiers are able to enter the stadium free of charge.
Children are able to enjoy the matches throughout the season in their own stand, together with their guardian. Additionally, the children are able to participate in education activities and various games which are being carried out in the stands by Galatasaray.