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Turkey squad

June 05, 2008 19:21 IST

Rustu Recber (Besiktas). Goalkeeper. Born: 10.5.73 Caps: 116 Goals: 0.

The 35-year-old's star shone brightest during the World Cup in 2002 when his outstanding performances played a key role in Turkey reaching the semi-finals. His fortunes waned during a subsequent spell at Barcelona. Injuries and patchy form have marred his prospects of a place in the starting line-up.

Volkan Demirel (Fenerbahce). Goalkeeper. Born: 27.10.81. Caps: 20

Injuries to Rustu have opened the way for the Fenerbahce goalkeeper to establish himself in the national team. His erratic form means his place is not guaranteed. His reputation as an effective shot stopper was enhanced by his Champions League displays on the way to last season's quarter-finals.

Tolga Zengin (Trabzonspor). Born 10.10.1983. Caps: 2. Goals: 0

The 24-year-old from the Turkish Black Sea region came to prominence at Trabzonspor at the start of last season, earning him three call-ups for senior international friendlies, most recently conceding two goals against Belarus in March.

Servet Cetin (Galatasaray). Defender. Born: 17.3.81. Caps: 28 Goals: 1

The tall centre-back could be a valuable asset in dealing with the aerial threat from opponents at the finals. He established his place in the national team during a three-year spell at Fenerbahce and has remained a regular since joining Galatasaray last year.

Gokhan Zan (Besiktas). Defender. Born: 7.9.81. Caps: 18 Goals: 0

Despite suffering from injury problems, Gokhan has secured a regular place as centre-back in the national team in the last two years. His strong physique and height could earn him a place in the starting line-up.

Emre Asik (Ankaraspor). Defender. Born: 13.12.73. Caps: 27 Goals: 2

The experienced defender featured in the 2002 World Cup campaign and regained his place in the national team last year. The competitive, hard-tackling Emre has a depth of experience from playing with all three major Istanbul clubs. He is currently on loan from Galatasaray at Ankaraspor.

Emre Gungor (Galatasaray). Defender. Born: 1.8.84. Caps: 1

The promising young centre-back is likely to earn his first senior call-up on the back of his performances at Galatasaray this season, having been a regular at under-21 level. He is seen inheriting the mantle of defensive stalwart at the club from Bulent Korkmaz.

Hakan Balta (Galatasaray). Defender. Born: 23.3.83. Caps: 7 Goals: 1

The left-back earned his first national call-up in 2006 and featured in several of Turkey's Euro 2008 qualifiers last year. Born in Berlin, he was signed up in 2003 by Turkish side Vestel Manisaspor, where his performances attracted the attention of Galatasaray.

Sabri Sarioglu (Galatasaray). Defender. Born 26.7.1984. Caps: 12. Goals: 1

A product of the Galatasaray youth set-up, he can play both in midfield at and right-back. With his strong physique and pace, he has become an important player for the club, with his performances reportedly attracting the attention of Fiorentina.

Ugur Boral (Fenerbahce). Defender. Born 14.4.82. Caps: 8 Goals: 0

Left-back Ugur can also play on the left side of midfield, filling the space left there by the departure of Tuncay Sanli for Middlesbrough. He did not feature in Turkey's qualification for Euro 2008 but his performances this season earned him call-ups to friendlies so far this year.

Hamit Altintop (Bayern Munich). Midfielder. Born: 8.12.82. Caps: 41 Goals: 2

Hamit, whose surname means "golden ball", broke a metatarsal bone in a friendly against Belarus in March which ended his season with Bayern Munich, putting him in doubt for Euro 2008. The midfielder is fast and has strong crossing ability and also contributes defensively.

Mehmet Aurelio (Fenerbahce). Midfielder. Born: 15.12.77. Caps: 18 Goals: 1

Born Marco Aurelio in Rio de Janeiro, he became a Turkish citizen in 2006 and took the name Mehmet. He caught the eye of Fenerbahce while playing at Trabzonspor and has since become a key part of the club's midfield. He became the first naturalised player to be capped in August 2006.

Emre Belozoglu (Newcastle United). Midfielder. Born: 7.9.80. Caps: 55 Goals: 4

While at Inter Milan, Emre acquired the nickname "Maradona of the Bosphorus", a testament to his natural talent. His career has been hit by injuries which have continued at Newcastle. He was banned for six internationals after a post-match brawl with Switzerland players in a 2006 World Cup playoff.

Mehmet Topal (Galatasaray). Midfielder. Born: 3.3.86. Caps: 4 Goals: 0

The 22-year-old defensive midfielder, nicknamed "Spider" because of his skill with his long legs, has established himself in the Galatasaray first team this season. He can also play on the right side of midfield.

Gokdeniz Karadeniz (Rubin Kazan). Midfielder. Born: 11.1.80. Caps: 45 Goals: 6

Gokdeniz was a key player for Trabzonspor, where he successfully linked up with Turkey team mate Fatih Tekke, before signing for Russia's Rubin Kazan this year. He plays an attacking role from midfield. He was banned from football for 10 months in 2005 over a betting scandal.

Ayhan Akman (Galatasaray). Midfielder. Born 23.2.1977. Caps: 9. Goals: 1

Joined Galatasaray in 2001 after a three-year spell with Besiktas was blighted by injury. With his aggressive playing style he has shown himself capable of playing in a variety of roles in midfield at Galatasaray, where has won three league championship medals.

Tumer Metin (Fenerbahce/Larissa). Midfielder. Born: 14.10.74. Caps: 23 Goals: 7

After five successful years at Besiktas, Tumer signed for Fenerbahce in 2006. However, he failed to live up to expectations and was loaned to Greece's Larissa at the start of this year. He has stood out in his national team appearances, scoring several key goals.

Arda Turan (Galatasaray). Midfielder. Born: 30.1.87. Caps: 17 Goals: 1

The combative midfielder is capable of playing on both wings. His vision and passing skills have earned him comparisons wih former Galatasaray great Gheorghe Hagi. He has attracted the attention of a series of foreign sides but has pledged his future to the Istanbul club.

Tuncay Sanli (Middlesbrough). Forward. Born: 16.1.82. Caps: 53 Goals: 14

Fiery Tuncay earned the nickname "Braveheart" during his five years at Fenerbahce where he proved his versatility as a winger and striker, becoming the team's top scorer in European competition, including a hat-trick against Manchester United. He is yet to fulfil his potential at Middlesbrough.

Nihat Kahveci (Villarreal). Forward. Born: 23.11.79. Caps: 53 Goals: 15.

He has played key goalscoring roles at Real Sociedad and Villarreal since moving to Spain in 2002. Nihat is a product of Besiktas' youth system and made his debut for the national team in 2000. He was out of action for a year due to injury after his move to Villarreal. His goals against Norway and Bosnia played a major role in Turkey's qualification for 2008.

Semih Senturk (Fenerbahce). Forward. Born: 29.4.83. Caps: 3 Goals: 0

The 25-year-old striker staked his claim for a place in Euro 2008 as top scorer in the domestic league this season. But he is short of international experience, having only broken into the national team last November. He has spent his entire career at Fenerbahce apart from a loan spell with Izmirspor.

Kazim Kazim (Fenerbahce). Forward. Born 26.8.86. Caps: 1 Goals: 0

Known as Kazim Kazim in Turkey, London-born Colin Kazim-Richards signed for Fenerbahce from Sheffield United last year. He has gradually established himself at the club and grabbed the headlines at the start of April with a spectacular goal against Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Mevlut Erdinc (Sochaux). Forward. Born: 25.2.87. Caps: 3 Goals: 0

After a series of appearances in the under-21 team, Fatih Terim called up Mevlut to the senior side for the first time against Belarus in March. The 21-year-old, who also holds French nationality and goes by the name Erding there, was Sochaux's top scorer last season.

Source:
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