The club has clinched the prestigious title and thus ended decades of dominance from the city's three big clubs, Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasaray.

When Turkish midfielder Mahmut Tekdemir scored a goal in the 19th minute, Medipol Basaksehir had a reason to celebrate. In this one move, the football club defeated HK Kayserispor on Sunday with a 1-0 victory, but, crucially, it also catapulted them to the Turkish Super Lig title for the first time in their 30 year history. 

Since its early days, Basaksehir has had a reputation of being an upstart with a limited support-base. In the past five years, the club has risen to prominence, largely due to good management and growing financial resources.  

Two years ago, the club surprised football enthusiasts by bagging second place in the Turkish Super Lig, Turkey's equivalent to the English Premier League, rattling the dominance of the 'Big Three' Istanbul teams: Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. 

Basaksehir has become the sixth team, after Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Besiktas, Trabzonspor and Bursaspor, to have reached the championship in the Turkish Super Lig.

The club's manager, Okan Buruk, became the fifth person to have won the league title in Turkish football history as a footballer-turned-coach. 

On the other hand, Basaksehir's Mehmet Topal became the first player to reach the championship in the history of Turkish Super Lig with three different clubs.

From financial stability to consistent on field success, Basaksehir has been an intriguing football success story.

Football players celebrate as Medipol Basaksehir clinched the first ever Turkish Super Lig title after second-place Trabzonspor lost to Konyaspor 4-3, in Istanbul, Turkey on July 19, 2020.
Football players celebrate as Medipol Basaksehir clinched the first ever Turkish Super Lig title after second-place Trabzonspor lost to Konyaspor 4-3, in Istanbul, Turkey on July 19, 2020. (AA)

From municipality to an Istanbul district team

Based in the Basaksehir district of Istanbul, the club was founded in 1990 as ISKI SK by Istanbul municipality's water distribution company called ISKI. 

In the 2006-2007 season, the club reached the Super Lig and played five seasons until it was relegated to the First League. Six years later, it suddenly returned to playing top level football for the 2013-2014 season. 

In 2014, the club changed its name to “Istanbul Basaksehir Football Club,” and following two seasons, finished in 4th place.

In 2015, the club signed a sponsorship deal with Medipol Education and Health Group for four years and the name changed again - this time to “Medipol Basaksehir.”

Since the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons, Medipol Basaksehir has been on a winning streak, dominating either the second or third spot. Last year, it lost the league's final game in a nail-biting competition to Galatasaray. 

Financial and sportive success 

Under the management of Abdullah Avci between 2014 and 2019, Basaksehir built a strong team, bringing in players from different parts of the world. 

Avci was replaced by Okan Buruk earlier this year and he continued building on the squad’s strength. 

Buruk kept the main structure of the team intact but made a few transfers to enrich its tactical depth. 

When it comes to transfers, Basaksehir can be considered as one of the most successful teams in Turkey in terms of financial stability and taking maximum benefits from incoming players.

It bought former Premier League stars Gael Clichy, Martin Skretel, Demba Ba - they now make up the backbone of the team. These three football stars joined the team for free. 

Experienced Brazilian star Robinho joined the team for €2 million. 

In previous years, Basaksehir was successful not only in transferring foreign stars with no fee to pay, but also by adding some home-grown Turkish stars, such as, Mert Gunok, Emre Belozoglu, Arda Turan and Mehmet Topal. They did not require transfer fees.

The record arrival for the team was Cengiz Under. He cost €4.80m in 2016. A year later, Basaksehir sold him to Italy’s AS Roma for €14.25m.

Contrary to its main rivals Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Trabzonspor, who boast millions of fans, Basaksehir has limited supporters and as a result, cannot fill its stadium. 

Despite facing a far bigger fan count of rival players, Basaksehir has been consistent in its electrifying performance on the field. 

With the new Super Lig title under their belt, they are winning the hearts and are no doubt gradually building a new base of football ultras.