One of the signature sports clubs in the capital of Turkey, Turk Telekom Ankara is back with the giants of local and European basketball after a two-year hiatus in the Turkish second division. The club was founded in 1954, backed by the national telephone company PTT, though its basketball section did not open until 1980. PTT Ankara played in several regional leagues throughout the 1980s, before joining the second division in 1990 and immediately earning promotion to the Turkish first division. Turk Telekom went on to win the Turkish League regular season in 1994, though it fell in the playoff semifinals. Around that time, Turk Telekom also began making waves in Europe and even played in the 1996-97 EuroLeague, the same season in which the team also reached the Turkish League finals and won the Turkish President's Cup, the club's first title. A few trips to the playoff semifinals and appearances in the Turkish Cup final in 2001 and 2003 cemented Turk Telekom's status among the best clubs in Turkey. Turk Telekom made its ULEB Cup debut in the 2004-05 season, but failed to notch a win. Three years later Turk Telekom was back and looked like a contender after Khalid El-Amin and Michael Wright led it to a 9-1 regular season with its only loss coming against eventual champ DKV Joventut, however Wright was lost to injury and the team fell to UNICS Kazan in the first knockout stage. In each of the next two seasons, the club advanced one stage in the competition, but no more despite the best efforts of Erwin Dudley. The club won the Turkish Cup and reached the Turkish finals in 2008 and lifted the Presidents Cup in 2009, however soon a lengthy dry spell ensued. Turk Telekom failed to claim a Turkish League playoff berth for four seasons from 2010 through 2014 and when that spell ended in 2015, it was eliminated by Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the quarterfinals. The next year the team only won seven games and was relegated to the second division for the 2016-17 campaign. It took the club two years to dig itself back to the top league, but a 26-2 start last season allowed the team to cruise to first place and a guaranteed ticket back to the top league and a spot in the EuroCup. Now it is Turk Telekom's time to shine again.
|Turkish National Cup: 2008
|Turkish President Cup: 1997