Fenerbahce was founded in 1907 in the Kadikoy section of Istanbul by Ziya Songülen and Necip Okaner. At the time, Turkish youth were not allowed to play football under Ottoman rule, so the club was originally very secretive. Songülen became the club’s first president and they began looking for a name and colors. The club’s original logo was actually designed by one of the club’s players, Topuz Hikmet.
“Fener” means “lighthouse” and “bahce” means garden, which played a significant role in the club’s founding. Fenerbahce is also an area of the Asian side of Istanbul where the club is situated. On the shore there was a lighthouse surrounded by yellow and white flowers which became the club’s first colors. The club’s colors were changed to navy and yellow three years later. In 1908, a new law in Turkey required all football clubs to officially register to be recognized. Fenerbahce did so, and in 1909 a small Turkish league of teams was formed. Only four years after the league began, Fenerbahce won the first of many league championships and went undefeated in league play.
There are five colors within the club logo, with each color having a significant meaning. The white section includes the club name “Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü 1907” and represents purity and open heartedness. The red area represents love and attachment to the club and symbolizes the official flag of Turkiye. The yellow section symbolizes admiration and envy, and the navy area symbolizes nobility. There is an oak acorn leaf which symbolizes the power of Fenerbahçe. The green coloring of the leaf mean the success of Fenerbahçe is imperative.
In 1959, the Turkish Football Federation formed what we know today as the Turkcell Super League. Fenerbahce won the first league title that year, prompting their participation in UEFA Champions League for the first time the following year. Over the next ten years, Fener would claim five titles and finish as runners-up three other times. Their dominance in Turkish football established them as a rising European club, and they also became the first Turkish club to win a European competition. Over the next four decades, Fenerbahce would become an even bigger football power, winning seventeen championships overall as of this season. Their rising profile in Europe was evident just one year ago, as they became the first Turkish club invited to the G-14 Summit, a meeting of 14 of the top clubs throughout Europe.
Fenerbahce plays their home games at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Kadikoy. It was built in 1908 and remodeled and expanded just two years ago to make it widely-regarded as one of the top stadiums in all of Europe, which led to it being chosen to host the 2009 UEFA Cup Final. The stadium is constantly undergoing upgrades that continue to make it one of the most high-tech and most lavish in all of Europe. Fenerbahce fans are also regarded as some of the most passionate and loyal in the world. It is estimated that there are between 25 and 30 million Fenerbahce supporters worldwide.