|Germany vs Turkey, Mesut Özil vs|
German Americans/American Germans
East German Players After 1990
This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for the German Turk players. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.
In the 1960's, West Germany went through a period of rapid economic growth that was later known as "Wirtschaftswunder"(economic miracle). As a result, West Germany suffered a shortage of labour. The government of West Germany solved the problem by signing treaties with Italy, Greece and Spain to recruit their citizens as "Gastarbeiter" (Guest workers) in Germany. Germany was not interested in bringing Turkish workers to Germany.
Turkey was an important ally to the United States during the Cold War. Nicholas Spykman's "Rimland" theory clearly illustrates the importance of Turkey in the geo-political area. The Turkish Straits has always been an issue to both the Czarist Russia and the Soviet Union because its location with the Black Sea. And since 1958, the Americans have deployed nuclear missile inside Turkey. On May, 1960, General Cemal Gürsel led a military coup d'état in Turkey which led to a period of uncertainty in the country. Suddenly, the political atmosphere changed. The United States believed that Turkey could benefit economically and create stability if Germany's policy on guest workers extended to them. So Washington applied pressure to Bonn.
In 1961, West Germany signed an agreement with Turkey to bring Turkish workers into Germany. At the beginning, both governments thought those "Gastarbeiter" would only stay for a short time. A few years later, they were permitted to bring their family to Germany. This led to dramatic of Turkish population in Germany. By the 1970's, the largest number of "Gastarbeiter" was from Turkey. Today, there are about 3 million Germans of Turkish descents living in Germany.
As a result of the Cold War and its impact on"Gastarbeiter" policy, the football world also changed because of it. Many descendants of the Turkish workers in Germany became footballers. Turkey who had not qualified for World Cup Finals since the 1954 reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 2002. Their squad included 4 German-born players. For the German national team, German-born Turks also made an impact. Mehmet Scholl is the record-holder of the number Bundesliga title won with 8. Nuri Sahin was the youngest ever player to play a game and scored a goal in the Bundesliga. Mesut Ozil was a key player in the German team that the won the WC in Brazil.
|Mehmet Scholl wearing a Turkey jersey.|
GK: Aykut Erçetin (Uncapped)
Born in Germany, Aykut Erçetin graduated from the youth academy with Stuttgart. He spent a season with their first team before moving to play in Turkey. Then, he spent 11 seasons as the backup goalkeeper with Galatasaray between 2003 and 2014. He played one more season with Çaykur Rizespor before retiring.
GK: Volkan Ünlü (Uncapped)
Born 8 July 1983 in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany, Volkan Ünlü was a youth product of Schalke 04. He has some experience with their first team as backup. He played for many clubs in Germany and Turkey. The bigger clubs included Beşiktaş J.K. and Trabzonspor.
GK: Gunay Guvenc (Turkey)
Born in Neu-Ulm, Germany, Gunay Guvenc started his career with Stuttgart Kickers in 2010. Then, he spent 3 seasons with Beşiktaş J.K. between 2013 and 2016 as a backup keeper. He was capped by Turkey A1(Turkey B International Team). At the time of writing, he plays with Göztepe S.K..
RB: Ümit Davala (Turkey)
Born in Germany, Ümit Davala played mainly in Turkey before joining Galatasaray in 1996. He was a part of their UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup winning team in 2000. He also had stints with both AC Milan and Inter Milan, but never played a single game for Inter Milan. He was capped 41 times for Turkey between 1996 and 2004. He was on the squad of Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.
CB: Ömer Toprak (Turkey)
Toprak began his career with TSB Ravensburg in 1994. In 2001 he moved to FV Ravensburg. He was signed by SC Freiburg in 2005. He signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2008. In his first professional season, he featured in 26 league games and scored 4 goals as Freiburg won the 2. Bundesliga title. He was capped by Germany for Under-19. In 2011, he was capped by Turkey.
CB: Mustafa Dogan (Germany)
Born in Turkey, Mustafa Dogan started with KFC Uerdingen 05 in 1994. In 1996, Doğan transferred to Fenerbahçe SK. He stayed there for seven years, the first five as a starter, then switched back to Germany, signing with FC Köln. On 18 October 2003. In 2005, he joined Beşiktaş J.K. Dogan was capped twice for Germany.
CB: Ogun Temizkanoglu (Turkey)
Ogun Temizkanoglu played mostly for Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe as a central defender. He also played for Konyaspor and Akçaabat Sebatspor. He retired after terminating his contract with Akçaabat Sebatspor on 12 August 2005. He played for Turkey national football team and was a participant at the 1996 and 2000 UEFA European Championship. He was capped 76 times by Turkey.
Tasci started his career with VfB Stuttgart in 2006 and played with the club until 2013, captaining the side from 2011. He played for the club nearly 250 times and helped them win the 2006–07 Bundesliga. He represented the German national team from 2008 and 2010, gaining 14 caps, including the 2010 World Cup, in which Germany came third.
CB/LB: Hakan Balta (Turkey)
Hakan Balta formerly played for Hertha Berlin II and Manisaspor before moving to Galatasaray in September 2007. Since 2006, he was apart of Turkey's players' pool. He has over 50 caps for Turkey. He went to European Championship in both 2008 and 2016. He was starter as Turkey reached the semifinal at Euuro 2008.
LB: Hasan Ali Kaldırım (Turkey)
Hasan Ali Kaldırım came through the youth ranks of TuS Koblenz before moving to Kaiserslautern in 2006 and then, Mainz 05, but started his professional career in Turkey. Hasan Ali Kaldırım joined Fenerbahçe from Kayserispor in 2012. Born in Germany, he represented Turkey at both junior and senior level.
DM: Tayfur Havutçu (Turkey)
Born in West Germany, Tayfur Havutçu started with the German club SV Darmstadt. In 1993–94 season, he was transferred to the Turkish club Fenerbahçe S.K. again spending two years there, he was then transferred to Kocaelispor. In 1997, Tayfur was transferred to Beşiktaş J.K. Between 1994 and 2004, he had 44 caps.
CM: Nuri Sahin (Turkey)
In 2005, at the age of 16 years and 334 days, Şahin set a record by becoming the youngest player to have played in the Bundesliga, and on 25 November of the same year became the youngest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga, scoring for Borussia Dortmund against 1. FC Nuremberg. In 2011, he made a big time to Real Madrid. He returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2013 after a loan deal with Liverpool. He earned his first cap in 2005 and scored his first goal ironically against Germany.
İlkay Gündoğan began his career at VfL Bochum II before joining 1. FC Nürnberg in 2009. Two years later he was signed by Borussia Dortmund, helping them finish runners-up the Champions League, scoring in the final. In 2016, he signed for Manchester City for an estimated fee of £21 million. Gündoğan made his senior international debut for Germany in 2011, and was part of their squad which reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2012.
Hamit Altıntop is a versatile player who can play in various position. He played for Schalke 04, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Galatasaray and Darmstadt 98. He helped Turkey to reach the semifinal at the European Champions in 2008, where he was voted into the all-tournament team. Between 2004 and 2014, he played 82 times for Turkey. His twin brother is Halil Altıntop, who also played for Turkey.
Olcay Şahan played for MSV Duisburg and 1. FC Kaiserslautern before moving to Besiktas in 2012. He was capped for Germany at the youth level, but in 2013, he switched to play for Turkey in the senior level. He is part of the Turkish national team for European Championship in 2016.
CM: Yıldıray Baştürk (Turkey)
Born in Germany of Turkish ancestry, Yıldıray Baştürk is best remembered for his most successful years at Bayer Leverkusen. In 2002, he was the playmaker of a great Leverkusen that finished second in the German league, the German Cup and the Champions League Final. That same year, he led Turkey to the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea. He had 49 caps in total. He also played for Wattenscheid 09, VfL Bochum, Hertha BSC, VfB Stuttgart and English club Blackburn Rovers.
AM: Hakan Calhanoglu (Turkey)
He began his career at Karlsruher SC in 2010 and moved to top-flight side Hamburger SV two years later, spending another season back at his first club on loan. His performance in his first Bundesliga season earned him a €14.5 million transfer to Leverkusen in 2014. Born in Germany, Çalhanoğlu opted to represent his ancestral Turkey at international level, making his senior debut in 2013.
AM: Mehmet Scholl (Germany)
Mehmet Scholl was born in Germany of Turkish hertiage. He started with Karlsruher, but spent almost hs entire career with Bayern Munich. He won the Bundesliga title 8 times and the Champions' league in 2001. He was the hero of the 1996 UEFA Cup win, scoring a goal each of the legs. Injuries has limited his career with the national team. He never played in any of the World Cup Finals.
He is the identical twin brother of Hamit Altıntop. He started his professional career in the local German club Wattenscheid 09 along with his brother. Altıntop was transferred to Kaiserslautern, and his brother to Schalke. In 2006, he joined his brother at Schalke on a free transfer. However, after only one season, his brother Hamit Altıntop joined Bayern Munich on another free deal. He also played for Eintracht Frankfurt and Trabzonspor. Capped 38 times.
AM: Mesut Özil (Germany)
Mesut Özil is a third generation German of Turkish decent. He played for Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen before making a dream move to Real Madrid after South Africa 2010. He moved to Arsenal in 2013, which was then a transfer record for German players. For the national team., he was a part of Germany's World Cup winning team in 2014. At the time of writing, he has over 90 caps.
Born in Turkey, his family moved to West Germany, where he grew up. Borussia Dortmund signed him when he was 17 years old. He transferred to Galatasaray in 1984–85 season and played there for two seasons. He returned to Borussia Dortmund for the 1986–87 season. He then signed for Sarıyer and became their team captain. In 1989, he returned for a second spell at Galatasaray where he played until retirement in 1994. Keser played 25 times for Turkey from 1982 to 1991
ST: Ümit Karan (Turkey)
Born in West Berlin, Ümit Karan played for Gençlerbirliği S.K., Ankaraspor, Galatasaray and Eskişehirspor. He spent the prime of his career with Galatasaray between 2001 and 2009. He made his international debut for Turkey in 1999, and earned a total of 10 caps, scoring 3 goals.
ST: Ilhan Mansiz (Turkey)
Ilhan Mansiz started with Koln in Germany. He gained international recognition at Istanbul's Beşiktaş J.K., and was later acquired by the Vissel Kobe football club in Japan. Between 2001 and 2003, he was capped 21 times for Turkey. He made a name during the World Cup Finals in 2002, where he scored the Golden Goal against Senegal that sent Turkey to the semifinal.
Volkan Arslan (Turkey), Volkan Yamen (Turkey), Malik Fathi (Germany), Yasin Öztekin (Turkey), Ömer Erdoğan (Turkey)
Yunus Mallı (Turkey), Ceyhun Gülselam (Turkey), Mehmet Ekici (Turkey), Serhat Akın (Turkey) Cenk Tosun (Turkey), Gökhan Töre (Turkey), Emre Can (Germany), Sefa Yılmaz(Turkey), Mehmet Yozgatlı(Turkey), Turgay Tapu (Uncapped), Suat Serdar (Germany)
-- Sixteen of the players selected played for Turkey. Two were uncapped. Mehmet Scholl, Mesut Ozil, İlkay Gündoğan, Serdar Tasci and Mustafa Dogan played for Germany.
-- Several members of Turkey's World Cup team in 2002 were born in Germany. Umit Davala, Ilhan Mansiz, Yildiray Basturk and Tayfur Havutçu were all born in Germany. They made an impact as Turkey finished third. I created an alternative German team for the 2002 World Cup Finals that included some of German Turks on it.
-- I have four goalkeeper: Aykut Erçetin, Volkan Ünlü, Turgay Tapu and Gunay Guvenc, but I know very little about them. I dropped Turgay Tapu because he was the only one without any experience at the top division in either Germany or Turkey.
-- There are many selections for the leftback position. Hakan Balta can play there as well. I selected Hasan Ali Kaldırım over Volkan Yamen and Malik Fathi.
-- At the age of 16 years and 334 days, Nuri Şahin set a record by becoming the youngest player to have played in the Bundesliga. However, his career was fulfilled his early achievements. He had a unsuccessful stint with Real Madrid.
-- Halil and Hamit Altıntop are identical twins. is a versatile player who can play in various position. Hamit Altıntop was a member of the team that reached the semifinal of Euro 2008, where Turkey lost to Germany 3-2. It was one of the best matches of Euro 2008.
-- Mesut Ozil quitted playing for the German national team in 2018. He accused the German Football Federation (DFB) of bigotry and discrimination because of his Turkish ancestry. He is a third generation German citizen.
-- Mehmet Scholl could have became the greatest German player of his generation. Unfortunately, he was injury prone throughout his career.
-- I need a left winger/midfielder. Olcay Şahan was selected.
-- Hakan Şükür was ineffective at the 2002 World Cup Finals which gave Ilhan Mansiz a chance. He was known for his Golden Goal agains Senegal at the 2002 World Cup Finals. He ended the tournament with 3 goals.
-- Erdal Keser was born in Turkey, but moved to West Germany as a child. He is the only member of this team not born in Germany.
-- Emre Can is still too young to make an all-time team. A year of two, he would be one of the more famous German Turks in the world. Suat Serdar is another player emerged after I finished this blog.
-- Niklas Süle is a current member of the Geramn national team. He was approached by Turkey to play for them as his surname seemed Turkish. He is actually Hungarian.
İlkay Gündoğan was injured for a long time. At the time of writing, his career is regenerating after many setbacks. He would evenbtually take over the starting position from Nuri Sahin.