Galatasaray clinch 17th Turkish title

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Veteran striker Hakan Şükür (seen here in Frankfurt in 2006) scored 11 goals this season and celebrates his 8th league title, as his team Galatasaray celebrates its 17th since 1959.

After the final match of the season, Galatasaray became the champions of Turkish Super League with 79 points in 34 games, six points ahead of rivals Besiktas and Fenerbahce.

The 50th season of the top-flight football league in Turkey ended Saturday as Galatasaray and Fenerbahce qualify for next season's Champions League, third-place Beşiktaş J.K. and Federation Cup winner Kayserispor qualify for the UEFA Cup. There was disappointment for Sivasspor, who came fourth by having same points with Besiktas but less goal average.

Galatasaray trainer Cevat Guler stated that, "There may have been times in recent weeks when the fans didn't think we would be champions... but we are delighted and thank everyone for their support."

The Istanbul-based club started season with German coach Karl-Heinz Feldkamp, who resigned at the start of April, citing differences with the management. Galatasaray were two points behind Fenerbahçe when Cevat Guler took over in a caretaker role. Also, the team hit by number of injuries, including two key foreign players of this season - Linderoth and Lincoln. However they accomplished five victories in last five games of season and clinched the 17th title for Galatasaray S.K.

After the match, thousands of Turks of all ages rallied at Istanbul's central Taksim Square to celebrate with fireworks, flags and slogans, singing the club anthems. Similar celebrations took place in big cities like Ankara and İzmir in the huge outdoor parties, organized on the spot, letting them join their voice with millions of fans around the country celebrating the 17th title of the club.