List of the Most Popular Sports and Games in Turkey

Estimated read time 6 min read

Popular Sports in Turkey

The Turks regard oil wrestling to be Turkey’s national sport. Wrestlers in oil wrestling, also called grease wrestling, try to grab one other’s heads and shoulders while covered in oil. The oil makes it much more challenging, and skill and physical prowess are required for success.

Oil Wrestling in Turkey is not recognized by the Turkish government, yet it is widely regarded as the country’s national and ancestral sport. It was originally used some 4,500 years ago.

Most Popular Sports in Turkey

Turkey is a transcontinental nation since it straddles two continents, Europe and Asia. On its outskirts are the Middle Eastern nations of Greece, Georgia, Bulgaria, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, as well as Iraq, Syria, and Iran. More than 5,663,000 Turks belong to the capital city of Turkey which is Ankara.

Here you can check the top things to do in Ankara on your first Turkey visit.

I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the most popular sports in the country. With this in mind, I’ve produced a list of every major sport in Turkey, and I hope you enjoy them all:

1. Football

Turkey Football

In Turkey, football has a much larger fan base than any other sport. Turkey’s national football team finished in third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the best finish of any of Turkey’s teams in the event, and the sport’s popularity has only grown since then.

In addition, there is widespread support for the national teams, including Beşiktaş, Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray.

Nonetheless, this is not the end; football’s popularity in the country is still growing, and the Super Lig is gaining international recognition, attracting players from all over the world.

You can get your Turkey visa online to watch the Turkish football team in action in different domestic and international leagues.

2. Basketball

basketball popular in Turkey

After football, basketball is the most popular sport in the country. Basketball, like soccer, is a fast-growing sport in Turkey. Like their footballing counterparts, the Turkish national basketball team made headlines in 2001 when they placed second at the European Basketball Championship, which was hosted by Istanbul.

They were the ninth-place team at the 2002 FIBA World Cup. Since then, the number of people who take part in this activity annually has risen steadily.

Anadolu Efes S.K. and Fenerbahce S.K. are the two most successful local clubs, with the latter having won the 2021 Euroleague title.

3. Volleyball

Volleyball Turkey Popular Sport

Volleyball ranks as the third most popular sport in Turkey. In Turkey, volleyball is played at a very competitive level, with women making up the vast majority of players.

They placed sixth at the FIVB World Championship in 2010 and third at the European Volleyball Championship the following year. Despite the fact that they are the main driving force behind volleyball’s rise to prominence at this level, the sport nevertheless commands a lot of respect among young people.

In addition to the local clubs that have found international success, such as Vakfbank, there is a men’s national beach volleyball squad.

4. Handball

Handball Game in Turkey

They rank handball as the fourth most popular sport in the country. By far, Turkey’s most famous handball player is Yeliz Ozel. Everybody in the country agrees that she’s the best handball player in Turkish history.

The Turkish Handball Super League is the highest level of domestic handball play. It has been around since 1982 and now includes 12 separate clubs.

The 13 championships that Beşiktaş has won in the 15 years between 2005 and 2019 prove that they are the league’s most dominant team in recent history. However, in 2021, Spor Toto SK was victorious and retook the throne.

5. Wrestling

Wrestling in Turkey

Among all of Turkey’s national sports, wrestling is the fifth most popular. Whereas Oil Wrestling, which is different from the standard wrestling game, is considered the national sport of Turkey. Here are the things to know about Turkish oil wrestling.

You have probably heard of oil wrestling before, as it is widely regarded as Turkey’s national sport. Overall, the sport of wrestling is quite well-liked there. Many believe it to be an ancient sport, with the most illustrious competition being the Krkpnar tournament.

Turkey is also home to three additional wrestling disciplines: folk, Olympic, and Greco-Roman. There is also Turkish Power Wrestling, a professional wrestling promotion in Turkey. They opened for business in 2010.

6. Boxing

Turkey Boxing

Turkey ranks the boxing game to be the 6th most famous sport in Turkey. Despite the worldwide rise in popularity of wrestling, nowhere is it more popular than in Turkey, where it is even more popular than boxing.

The sport of boxing in Turkey is governed by the Turkish Boxing Federation. It has been around since 1924, and its headquarters can be found in Ankara. It regulates all boxing events and serves as the sport’s governing body.

Boxing has been autonomous from the Turkish Wrestling Federation since 1942. Turkish boxer Melih Acba, who became famous after winning the 1940 Golden Gloves championship in America, is widely recognized.

Get your Turkey visa application form and submit it to get a Turkey to visit visa to enjoy different popular sports in Turkey. Along with that, you can visit historical places in Turkey.

7. Judo


When ranking the most popular sports in Turkey, judo ranks 7th. The last activity here is likewise a form of competitive physical activity. Galatasaray Judo is widely regarded as among the top judo clubs in Turkey.

A part of the Turkish Judo Championship since its inception in 1984, this club has been going strong for almost three decades. Many contests were won by them, including the Istanbul Championship, European Judo Club Championships, and the Turkish Judo Team Championship.

The team’s Majlinda Kelmendi made headlines when she became the first Kosovar athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. She did this while trying out for the team.

8. Motorsports


Motorsports is the 8th most popular sport in Turkey. The motorsports, like many of the other sports on this list, have witnessed an increase in popularity in recent years, and this is predicted to continue in the years to come.

There has been a rise in interest in motorsports in Turkey since 2003 when the country’s Rally became part of the FIA World Championship, and again in 2005, when the country hosted a Formula One Grand Prix.

In addition, the FIA World Touring Car Championship and the MotoGP Grand Prix of Turkey are both held in Turkey.

Rashid Nawaz

My name is Rashid Nawaz. I have completed my degree in Mass Communication from South Asia University, Lahore, Pakistan. I have started my career as a News reporter and editor from the local Newspaper and now I am writing for different News websites, The Daily News Times is one of those great sites.

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