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Famous Athletes from Turkey

Updated June 14, 2019 12.1k views1k items

List of famous athletes from Turkey, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Turkey has seen some very talented athletes over the years, many of who have gone on to represent their country in the Olympics. These are some of the best Turkish athletes of all time, so if you're a native of Turkey and are aspiring to compete in sports professionally then these are people you should look up to. If you're searching for a particular popular athlete from Turkey then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

Use every item on this list for yours, from Can Bartu to Serdar Aziz.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Turkish athletes?" and "Which athletes are from Turkey?"

You can click on the names of these legendary athletes of Turkey in order to get more information about each one.
  • 1
    Elvan Abeylegesse, (also formerly: Hewan Abeye (አልቫን አበይለገሠ, Amharic) and Elvan Can (Turkish); born September 11, 1982) is an Ethiopian-born Turkish middle and long-distance running athlete who...  more
  • 2
    Tuğba Karademir (born on March 17, 1985) is a Turkish former competitive figure skater. She won silver medals at the 2008 International Challenge Cup and 2008 Ondrej Nepela Memorial. She qualified to...  more
  • 3
    Sviatlana Sudak (Belarusian: Сьвятлана Судак; born 20 March 1971) is a Turkish female hammer thrower of Belarusian origin. She was born in Grodno, Belarus....  more
  • 4
    Turkey national football team
    Nuri Şahin (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈnuɾi ˈʃahin], born 5 September 1988) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Bundesliga club Werder Bremen. He plays as a central midfielder and is...  more
  • 5
    Everton F.C.
    Leon Osman (born 17 May 1981) is an English former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He spent most of his career at Everton, making 433 appearances and scoring 57 goals. Earlier in...  more
  • 6
    FC Bayern Munich
    Hamit Altıntop (Turkish pronunciation: [haˈmit aɫˈtɯntop], born 8 December 1982) is a Turkish professional footballer who last played for SV Darmstadt 98. He is a versatile midfielder who can play...  more
  • 7
    Alper Balaban (August 1, 1987 – April 12, 2010) was a Turkish-German footballer who started his career with Fenerbahçe.Balaban was raised in Gemmingen and Heilbronn. He began his career with German...  more
  • 8
    FC Schalke 04
    Halil Altıntop (Turkish pronunciation: [haˈlil aɫˈtɯntop], born 8 December 1982) is a retired Turkish footballer and the identical twin brother of Hamit Altıntop. He was deployed as a centre-forward...  more
  • 9
    Naim Süleymanoğlu (born Naim Suleimanov; 23 January 1967 – 18 November 2017) was a Turkish world and Olympic Champion in weightlifting, who was nicknamed “The Pocket Hercules” because of his small...  more
  • 10
    Fenerbahçe SK
    Colin Kazim-Richards (born 26 August 1986), also known as Colin Kâzım, Kâzım or Kâzım Kâzım, is a professional footballer who plays as a forward for Veracruz. Born and raised in England, he qualified...  more
  • 11
    Ceyhun Gülselam (born 25 December 1987) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a center back and defensive midfielder. He plays for Alanyaspor....  more
  • 12
    Ali Bilgin (born 17 December 1981) is a former German football player of Turkish descent. His versatility and ability to use both feet allows him to fill in at various positions if needed. One of his...  more
  • 13
    Emir Preldžić (born 6 September 1987) is a Turkish professional basketball player for Bahçeşehir of the Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL). He also represents the Turkish national basketball team....  more
  • 14
    TSV 1860 München
    Berkant Göktan (born 12 December 1980) is a Turkish-German former footballer. He was considered one of the hottest prospects in Germany during the late 1990s....  more
  • 15
    Erhan Albayrak (born 5 April 1977) is a Turkish football manager and former player last managed FSV Duisburg....  more
  • 16
    Niyazi Serhat Akın (born 5 June 1981) is a retired Turkish footballer who played as a striker....  more
  • 17
    Beşiktaş J.K.
    Ersen Martin (born 23 May 1979) is a Turkish former footballer who played as a centre forward. He amassed Süper Lig totals of 256 games and 73 goals over the course of 12 seasons, in representation...  more
  • 18
    Ahmet Kuru (born 23 April 1982) is a Turkish former footballer who played as a striker.After coming through Werder Bremen's youth system, he played for the club's reserves, Eintracht Braunschweig,...  more
  • 19
    Mustafa Kemal "Muzzy" Izzet (; Turkish: İzzet; born 31 October 1974) is a former footballer who played for Chelsea, Leicester City, Birmingham City and the Turkish national team. His father is a...  more
  • 20
    SC Freiburg
    Ali Mehmet Güneş (born 23 November 1978) is a Turkish former professional footballer. Born in West Germany, he represented Turkey at international level....  more
  • 21
    Nurcan Taylan (born October 29, 1983 in Ankara, Turkey) is a Turkish Olympic, world and European champion in weightlifting. She holds six European and one world record (and tied two more world...  more
  • 22
    Bayern Munich II
    Deniz Yılmaz (born 26 February 1988) is an Azerbaijani professional footballer who last played as a striker for Turkish club Gençlerbirliği. ...  more
  • 23
    Binnaz Uslu (born March 12, 1985 in Ankara) is a retired Turkish middle-distance and long-distance runner. She was banned from sport for life in 2014, after her second doping violation. The 165 cm (5...  more
  • 24
    FC Metalurh Donetsk
    Erol Bulut (born 30 January 1975) is a Turkish former footballer and manager of Alanyaspor. He won the league championship with Fenerbahçe as a player in the 1995–96 season....  more
  • 25
    Adem Sarı (born 9 May 1985) is a Turkish footballer who currently plays for TFF Second League club Sivas Belediye Spor. In December 2009 he scored 2 goals in his team Eskişehirspor's 2–1 win over...  more