Sports Clubs / Ultras: Galatasaray - UltrAslan

One of the most interesting groups of fans in Europe is located in one of the furthest regions. Located in Istanbul, Galatasaray is one of Turkey's top clubs and has a fiercely passionate fanbase. Their ultras banded together to form the group UltrAslan in an attempt to combine the words (and concepts) of "ultras" and "Aslan" (the lion).

Perhaps what this group is most famous for is their banner displayed in the stadium that proclaims "Welcome to Hell" to the visiting team. Many European teams have seen this grand welcome, but the true venom is saved for the local derby against Fenerbahce. The Kitalar Arasi derby is a rivalry between the two most successful clubs in Turkey in the same city on two different continents.

Despite the group proclaiming a dislike for the increased commercialization of football, they themselves are run fairly commercially. UltrAslan memorabilia can become and is often more popular than the official kits of Galatasaray itself. The members of UltrAslan and supporters of the club will make themselves heard and seen, with thousands of red flares light up whatever stadium Galatasaray happens to call home (it has been the Turk Telekom Arena since 2011). It was in this stadium that these fans broke the record for the loudest noise ever recorded at a sporting event.

With all of this passion is sure to come incidents. Fights between Galatasaray ultras and their Fenerbahce counterparts are common, as is the throwing of flares and stones during the game. However, it was in 2000 that one of the worst incidents came, when 2 Leeds fans were killed after hostilities increased between the two sets of fans.

The UltrAslan fan group has no background ideological leaning as so many other groups do. Instead, they are entirely focused on supporting the one true source of joy in their lives: Galatasaray Spor Kulubu.


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