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   June 23, 2002 | 1720 IST


Oliver Kahn

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Turkish papers ooze confidence

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"Turkey is the greatest" was the triumphant message in Turkish newspapers on Sunday, revelling in Turkey's victory over Senegal that won them a place in the World Cup semi-finals against Brazil.

"We turned the African lion into a pussycat," said Sabah newspaper. "Your turn next, Brazil."

The front pages were a riot of red -- the colour of Turkey's national flag -- and Saturday's 1-0 victory has inspired confidence that Turkey could even win the World Cup.

"We're in the semi final. Our goal is the cup," was the headline in Cumhuriyet newspaper with a picture of Turkey's players piled up on top of each other moments after the goal, Alpay Ozalan on top of them all his arms raised in triumph.

"Umit (Davala) passed, Ilhan (Mansiz) shot and the golden goal sent an entire nation pouring onto the streets," said sports daily Fotomac whose entire front page was a picture of Ilhan celebrating the goal, superimposed on a Turkish flag.

Fanatik newspaper also had a full-page picture of Ilhan in the act of shooting the winning goal on its front page.

It detailed the moves leading up to the golden goal in the 94th minute and turning the page the word "Gooooooal" was spread across pages two and three above a picture of Senegal's goalkeeper helplessly watching the ball fly into the net.

It was only Turkey's second appearance in the World Cup, and the first for 48 years. After a run of success in European competition they were aiming for a place in the last eight -- few dreamed they could come as far as they have.

"We have written the name of Turkey on world soccer," Hurriyet newspaper said, reporting on celebrations by Turks around the world, from London to Azerbaijan.

"Samba time," it added, saying the time was ripe for revenge against Brazil after a controversial first round match that Turkey lost 2-1 after a dubious penalty decision.

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