Soccer Players The Best Soccer Players from Turkey  

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19.6k votes 1.6k voters 73.3k views 141 items

List Rules Soccer players from Turkey or played for the Turkish national team.

Who comes to mind when you think of the best Turkish soccer players of all time? For many soccer fans, famous footballers such as Hakan Şükür and Arda Turan have to be in the top ten. So to see which Turkish footballers truly stand out, fans like you have voted on who they think are the best of all time. It can be a pitched battle, as there have been many top footballers from Turkey.

The list below is formatted so that the soccer players with the most votes are at the top of the list. Short biographies, photos, and details such as positions played are included when available. If you're searching for a particular famous Turkish soccer player, you can use the search box to find what you're looking for. So, if you've ever wondered whether one Turkish footballer was better than another, this list answers that question.

So who qualifies to be in the running for the best soccer players from Turkey? The player must either be Turkish born or have played for the Turkish national soccer team. So players such as Mesut Özil, who is of Turkish descent but played for Arsenal and the German national team, are not eligible. Players that are eligible for this list include Rüştü Reçber, who played for the Turkey national team.

This list should answer any questions about who are the best Turkish soccer players of all time, once and for all. If you're a sports lover then you can use this list of the best Turkish soccer players to discover some new athletes that you might really enjoy learning about.
list ordered by

1
417 161
Metin Oktay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward Metin Oktay nicknamed the Uncrowned King by Galatasaray SK fans, was a Turkish footballer and one of the most successful goal scorers in Turkey.

2
520 250
Hakan Şükür is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward Hakan Şükür, known by his nick name Kral – literally meaning The King – is a Turkish retired footballer who played as a striker. He spent the majority of his professional career with ...more

3
358 161
Rüştü Reçber is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber is a retired Turkish international footballer who has played for Antalyaspor, Fenerbahçe, Barcelona and Beşiktaş. He has played a key role in the success of ...more

4
292 128
Tugay Kerimoğlu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Tugay Kerimoğlu Midfielder Tugay Kerimoğlu is a Turkish former footballer who played the majority of his career for Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers. Primarily a deep-lying playmaker in midfield, he was also competent as ...more

5
319 149
Sergen Yalçın is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Ali Rıza Sergen Yalçın is a former Turkish footballer and is recognised as one of the greatest footballers to play for Turkey. Sergen has played for every one of Turkey's big four clubs, ...more

6
250 109
Nihat Kahveci is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Nihat Kahveci Forward Nihat Kahveci is a Turkish former footballer.

7
597 322
Arda Turan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward, Midfielder Arda Turan is a Turkish footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid as an attacking midfielder and is the captain of the Turkish national team. He is mostly known for his ball ...more

8
256 116
Lefter Küçükandonyadis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward Lefter Küçükandonyadis was a Turkish football player οf Greek descent, who is recognised as one of the greatest footballers to play for Fenerbahçe and Turkey.

9
208 104
İlhan Mansız is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward İlhan Mansız is a German former football player and current competing figure skater of Crimean Tatar origin.

10
290 160
Nuri Şahin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Nuri Şahin is a Turkish footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Turkey national football team. He began his career at Borussia Dortmund, spending six ...more

11
242 136
Hasan Sas is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hasan Sas Forward, Midfielder Hasan Gökhan Şaş is a Turkish former footballer player who played as a winger and is currently an assistant manager of Galatasaray. He is best known for his time at Galatasaray and for his ...more

12
143 72
Can Bartu is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Can Bartu is a Turkish former basketball and football player. He is currently a sports journalist. He started to play basketball for Fenerbahçe and was a six-time international ...more

13
189 108
Bülent Korkmaz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender Bülent Korkmaz, known by his nick names Büyük Kaptan and Cengaver –literally meaning Great Captain and The Warrior respectively, is a retired Turkish football centre back and ...more

14
175 100
Hamit Altıntop is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Hamit Altıntop is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Galatasaray in the Süper Lig. He is a versatile midfielder who can play either in a defending or attacking role and on both ...more

15
184 109
Tuncay Şanlı is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward, Midfielder Tuncay Volkan Şanlı, or simply Tuncay, is a Turkish footballer who plays for Umm Salal SC in the Qatar Stars League. His natural position is the striker position, but he has played as an ...more

16
174 104
Ümit Davala is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender, Midfielder Ümit Davala is a Turkish former international footballer. He was assistant manager at Galatasaray between 2011 and 2013.

17
137 78
Yıldıray Baştürk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Yıldıray Baştürk is a retired Turkish footballer who last played for English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers in 2010. He was capped 49 times for the Turkey national football team, ...more

18
179 122
Tanju Çolak is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward Tanju Çolak is a retired Turkish footballer, who played as a striker.

19
129 87
Ali Sami Yen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ali Sami Yen Ali Sami Yen was a Turkish sports official best known as the founder of the Galatasaray Sports Club. His birth name was Ali Sami Frashëri, the son of Sami Frashëri, one of the most ...more

20
152 113
Gökdeniz Karadeniz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Gökdeniz Karadeniz Defender, Midfielder Gökdeniz Karadeniz is a Turkish footballer. He currently plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for FC Rubin Kazan.

21
125 89
Şenol Güneş is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Şenol Güneş Goalkeeper Şenol Güneş is a Turkish football manager and former player. His biggest accomplishment to date is coaching the Turkish team that won the third place in the 2002 World Cup.

22
187 149
Burak Yılmaz is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward, Midfielder Burak Yılmaz is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Galatasaray and the Turkish national team as a striker.

23
131 101
Alpay Özalan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender Fehmi Alpay Özalan, known as Alpay, is a former Turkish footballer, who is currently a member of the management committee of Siirtspor. He played 87 internationals for Turkey, including at ...more

24
97 77
Ergün Penbe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ergün Penbe Defender, Midfielder Ergün Penbe is a Turkish retired footballer who played mostly as a left midfielder and left back, and a current manager. He is known for his "fair play" approach to the game, ...more

25
91 71
İlkay Gündoğan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
uluhan-tepe added Midfielder İlkay Gündoğan is a German footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Germany national football team, having previously played for ...more

26
109 97
Hakan Balta is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hakan Balta Defender Hakan Kadir Balta is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Galatasaray in the Süper Lig.

27
68 55
Cemil Turan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Cemil Turan Cemil Turan, is a former Turkish football player and a topscorer and current Director of Fenerbahçe S.K. Academy. He debuted at Sarıyer G.K. when he was 14. He transferred first to ...more

28
60 49
Okan Buruk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Okan Buruk Midfielder Okan Buruk is a Turkish former international footballer who played in the midfielder position. He played for Galatasaray, Internazionale, Beşiktaş, and İstanbul Büyükşehir ...more

29
80 71
Mehmet Aurélio is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Mehmet Aurélio is a Brazilian-Turkish retired footballer who last played for Olaria in Brazil. He is currently the assistant manager of Kasımpaşa.

30
117 112
Fatih Terim is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Fatih Terim Defender Fatih Terim, Commendatore OSSI, T.C, is a Turkish association football manager and former player who is manager of the Turkish national football team. His Turkish nickname is İmparator, and his ...more

31
146 147
Caner Erkin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Caner Erkin Midfielder Caner Erkin is a Turkish footballer who plays for Turkish Süper Lig side Fenerbahçe and the Turkish national team.

32
91 86
Hakan Ünsal is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hakan Ünsal Hakan Ünsal is a Turkish former international footballer. Hakan Ünsal is remembered by many for his rocket left foot and his pinpoint passing as well as his nonstop desire for victory. ...more

33
75 71
Ogün Temizkanoğlu is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ogün Temizkanoğlu Defender Ogün Temizkanoğlu is a Turkish former international footballer. He played mostly for Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe as a central defender. He also played for Konyaspor and ...more

34
116 120
Volkan Demirel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel is a Turkish goalkeeper who plays for the Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe and is also the goalkeeper for the Turkey national football team. Demirel was the starting ...more

35
88 88
Ümit Karan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward Ümit Karan is a retired Turkish football player. He played for Gençlerbirliği S.K., Ankaraspor, Galatasaray and Eskişehirspor. He made his international debut for Turkey in 1999, and ...more

36
68 66
Suat Kaya is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Suat Kaya Suat Kaya is a Turkish former footballer who played as a midfielder, and a current coach.

37
75 76
Fatih Tekke is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Fatih Tekke Forward Fatih Tekke is a Turkish former international footballer who played as a striker.

38
50 47
Necati Ateş is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Necati Ateş Forward Necati Ateş is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Kayseri Erciyesspor as a forward.

39
54 53
Feyyaz Uçar is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Feyyaz Uçar Forward, Midfielder Feyyaz Uçar is a former footballer, as a striker, and more recently a coach. Uçar started his football career at Avcılar Spor Klübü. Attracting various scouts while with ...more

40
45 44
Mehmet Özdilek is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder Mehmet "Şifo" Özdilek Turkish football manager and retired player who is nicknamed as Şifo after Belgian star Enzo Scifo with whom he shared a similar playing style. Having spent ...more

41
63 67
Oktay Derelioğlu is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Oktay Derelioğlu Forward Oktay Derelioğlu is Turkish former international footballer. Derelioğlu played as a forward and is notable for his goal against Belgium during the qualifying rounds of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. ...more

42
66 71
Elvir Baljić is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward, Midfielder Elvir Baljić is a Bosnian football manager and former player. He was assistant manager of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team, with whom he qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

43
56 60
Sabri Sarıoğlu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender, Midfielder Sabri Sarıoğlu is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a right back for Galatasaray. Sabri can also play as a right winger and a wingback.

44
59 64
Abdullah Ercan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender, Midfielder Abdullah Ercan is a retired Turkish international footballer. He currently manages Gaziantepspor and the Turkey U-17 team.

45
54 58
Arif Erdem is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Arif Erdem Forward Arif Erdem is a retired Turkish international footballer of Albanian descent and the former manager of İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor. He played in the forward position. Starting out ...more

46
82 94
Aykut Kocaman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Aykut Kocaman Forward Aykut Kocaman is a former Turkish footballer, who played as a striker and current manager of Konyaspor. Before he made his debut 1980 with the amateur club Kabataş Altınmızrak in Istanbul, ...more

47
68 77
Tümer Metin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Tümer Metin Midfielder Tümer Metin is a retired Turkish international footballer. He played as an attacking midfielder.

48
35 37
Gokhan Gonul is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
mertoyuncu added Gokhan Gonul

49
42 50
Ertuğrul Sağlam is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ertuğrul Sağlam Forward Ertuğrul Sağlam is a Turkish football coach and former player. He was recently the manager of Eskişehirspor. Sağlam was recently voted one of the top 20 most promising coaches by respected ...more

50
54 66
Ayhan Akman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ayhan Akman Midfielder Ayhan Akman is a retired Turkish footballer who last played for Galatasaray. He is currently the manager of Karşıyaka.