ATHLETICS IN TURKEY – SHORT HISTORY
Turkish Athletic Federation founded on 14 July 1922 as a branch of the TICI (Turkish Sports Associations Union / Türkiye İdman Cemiyetleri İttifaki), inaugural umbrella organization for sports. Mr. Ali Seyfi Beyti appointed as a first president of athletics branch, but his term lasted only several months, then Felek led the organization.
Newly-formed Republic of Turkey athletes competed in 1924 Paris Olympics first time – actually two Ottoman athletes competed in Stockholm 1912 – while the sports fastly flourished in big cities. First national champs held in Eskisehir at summer of 1924.
Turkey competed in Balkan Championships as a regular member since from very first competition in Athens 1930. After two years it’s inauguration, Istanbul hosted Balkan Nations for the first big international event at the country.
At the 1948 London Olympics, first ever big medal came to Turkish athletics. National record-holder Ruhi Sarıalp won bronze medal in triple jump at the Olympics, then he repeated his achievement in European Championships in Brussels 1950.
Ismail Akcay, prominent marathon-icon in the country, became a national hero after Mexico City Games where he finished fourth in Olympic marathon. Akcay also became fifth in Euro Champs 1969 and clinched four Balkan marathon titles in his career.
Turkish athletics had long tradition in the paper, but achievements was generally occured regional until recent years. In the 80’s, marathoner Mehmet Terzi and sprint queen Semra Aksu made some headlines with their successes, but in the overall Turkey has no big champs medal until 2002 Munich Euro Champs. Süreyya Ayhan became the nation’s first ever European Champion in Munich, then took the silver medal at her premium event 1500 metres in Paris 2003 World Champs.
In the years of 2000’s, Turkish athletics have boomed. Eşref Apak clinched Olympics silver in hammer throw, Elvan Abeylegesse and Karin Melis Mey got World Champs medals, including dozens of European and World age-group titles came.
The Turkish Athletic Federation now one of the country’s strongest sport bodies with the 90-plus year experience and it’s rich history. Around 200.000 registered athletes are performing athletics in every kind of this beautiful sport at the every corner of the country.
CURRENT TAF BOARD (2016-2020)
Fatih Çintimar (President)
Mustafa Yasin Taş (Vice President)
Hasan Çavuşoğlu (Vice President)
Salih Münir Yaraş (Vice President)
Adil Çalışkan (Member)
Ali Aksu (Member)
Ali Bican Türk (Member)
Atıf Ala (Member)
Celalettin Deniztoker (Member)
İlhan Hatipoğlu (Member)
İsmail Bayazıt (Member)
İsmail Kargulu (Member)
Muzaffer Karadeniz (Member)
Zafer Çubukçu (Member)
Yasin Özlü (Member)
Fahrettin Yıldız (General Secretary)