Can Turkish Clubs Shine in Europe Again?

Galatasaray supporters celebrate after the football club was crowned champion of Turkey's top division for a record 22nd time on May 19, 2019 in Istanbul. - Galatasaray sealed their 22nd Turkish league title with a dramatic 2-1 win over nearest challengers Istanbul Basaksehir in a capital-city derby marred by violence. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Hot on the back of a fantastic win for Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League against Manchester United, people are speculating whether this could be a big moment for Turkish football as a whole.

It is fair to say that Turkish clubs have struggled in Europe for much of the past decade, which has been disappointing to see. However, Basaksehir have been climbing the ranks domestically, and now on top of that, they have made their mark in Europe.

Not only have they scored their first goal and grabbed their first win, but they have done it all against one of the biggest clubs in the world, a team recognised as being at the top of the tree.

So, what does the future look like and can others follow in the footsteps to make Turkey a force once more and respected by other leagues in Europe?

All Change for Turkey in Europe

Gone are the days where Turkey are represented by Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahce in Europe. The first two names of those had a chance this season, but were ultimately knocked out of the qualifying rounds.

This year, Istanbul Basaksehir are representing Turkey in the Champions League while Sivasspor are in the Europa League. This is a big change, but one that might be able to spark some kind of Turkish revival, so it is not all bad.

With Alanyaspor currently topping the table in Turkey, we could see another team given a chance in Europe next season, should they continue their early form.

Whatever happens, new teams and faces into Europe is always going to be a positive for the league and a sign that things are moving in the right direction, with improvement on the way.

The Competitiveness of the League

The reason why we are seeing new teams involved in Europe from Turkey is because of the competitiveness of the league.

Rather than seeing the same three teams dominate things, we are seeing others get involved.

This made the league a foregone conclusion from a betting point of view, which was disappointing for those wanting to place a bet. Companies like internet sportsbooks offer betting on football leagues including the Super Lig, and now this is more competitive, betting is more appealing.

It is also the driving force behind making teams better. If they have to be better to compete domestically then that will make them more competitive in Europe, rather than staying still because that is all they need to do to compete at home.

The more teams that are involved at the top of the Super Lig, the better this will be for Turkish clubs in Europe as we should see a situation where teams need to improve to compete domestically.

What Does the Future Hold?

If the recent success of Istanbul Basaksehir is anything to go by then the future looks bright for Turkey. However, they also need to prove that wasn’t a fluke result, and that Turkey as a whole can begin to move forward.

What would be great for the country in Europe is if we see more teams competing for the league title. This is something we have seen over the last couple of years, and needs to stay in place to ensure that clubs are improving each year, rather than just standing still.

That will give them the key to go forward in Europe, and while Turkey is still some way off being a powerhouse, the country can be competitive again and pick up their reputation around the rest of Europe.