Season Over in Turkey: What Next?

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Season Over in Turkey: What Next?
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Part one and two were long gone by, even the epilogue has come to an end; the 2008-09 season of Turkish Turkcell Super League is now over.

As expected nothing changed in a tight and exciting last week. Things looked bound to change—let's give the credit to that—but in the end it all stood still.

The leaders, Besiktas won the league championship five points ahead of its closest rival Sivasspor. Besiktas won 2-1 while Sivasspor lost with the same score to Galatasaray.

Trabzonspor who have not managed to protect their lead against Fenerbahçe which stopped them from qualifying for Champions League. With Sivasspor losing, if they managed to beat Fenerbahçe on their home ground they would have been the second team for the most glorious football competition on earth.

Instead, they lost, ironically, with the same score, 2-1, with Fenerbahçe's huge upset, former La Liga top scorer Daniel Güiza clinching the winner in the fourth minute of the injury time. The critical goal also kept Fenerbahçe above Galatasaray which meant one less elimination round in the next year's UEFA League.

In 1996, they lost with the same score, yet again, which caused them the championship that season.

Even the relegation table stood the same. Konyaspor thought they survived during their win against Ankaraspor, but Antalyaspor's late goal against Ankaragücü saved the Mediterranean side, pushing Konya down.

Besiktas returned from Denizli to Istanbul late same they and were cheerfully greeted. On Sunday they received the trophy in their home stadium, Inonu Stadium where they merged with their fans.

The end of the season saw Aykut Kocaman leave the management in Ankaraspor. One of this year's overachievers for the first half of the season dropped down hard in the second half. They were candidates for European competitions but at some point in the season it turned into relegation candidate. The club is said to merge with Ankaragücü, the older club of the capital city, therefore rumours say it was the financial cuts which caused players' unhappiness.

Kocaman was a legendary goal scorer of Fenerbahçe and his name is mentioned for the new position created in that club, as sportive director.

With him will work Christoph Daum. Fenerbahçe is still looking for a financially less harmful way to terminate their contract with "Grandpa" but the rumours from Germany already confirmed Daum's move to Fenerbahçe.

The name, though not announced officially, already stirred the fans forums and email groups. Some are glad that a once successful familiar name has turned back while some are really upset that the "new era" is beginning with an "old name."

Daum's management of Fenerbahçe football club ended rather dramatically back in 2006, when they lost the title at the last week of the season to their fierce rivals Galatasaray. The defeat and the loss of championship is still said to be the biggest trauma in Fenerbahçe football team's history—and Daum still reminds people of that day.

Galatasaray's Bulent Korkmaz also resigned. Gala are looking for a replacement. Adriaanse, Houllier, Le Guen, and Schuster are the supposed candidates. Co Adriaanse looks the strongest possibility but both sides are implying that the discussions are ongoing and there has not been any agreements yet.

Trabzonspor's Manager Ersun Yanal, who was an ex-manager of Turkish national team, resigned earlier in the season. The team finished the season with the assistant manager in control. They lost only the last game against Fenerbahçe but won six in a row. They have tried to sign Senol Günes but the Korean club that he is contracted to did not let him go. Their search is still in progress.

Transfer window just around the corner the summer is already heating up. Kayserispor's star Mehmet Topuz is the main focus of the rumours. He admitted he thinks his future lays elsewhere, that Fenerbahçe and Besiktas were serious to sign him but no agreements still.

Bursaspor's Mustafa Sarp left on Bosman ruling and agreed to sign with Galatasaray. With Mehmet Topal and Ayhan Akman in front, a strong in team rivalry is awaiting.

Ankaraspor's Özer Hurmaci, Bursaspor's Sercan Yildirim, and Volkan Sen are also drawing some attention.

Besiktas will go to the Champions League. Tough rounds of elimination await Sivasspor to qualify for group stage—almost impossible. Trabzonspor and cup finalist Fenerbahçe qualified for the new UEFA Cup. Galatasaray also will take place in the competition if they qualify through the elimination rounds.

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