The number of foreign fans visiting Turkish football matches almost doubled to 60,000 last season, according to data gathered by ticketing firm Passolig.

The Hurriyet Daily News website, citing Passolig data, reported that the number of foreign football fans who registered for games in Turkey’s top two divisions during 2017-18 was 60,000, compared to 33,000 the previous campaign.

Fans wishing to attend games in Turkey are legally required to register themselves on Passolig’s ticketing system, and the report noted that 38,000 supporters have already done so in the 2018-19 season as it reaches its halfway point.

Galatasaray is the most popular club among foreign supporters, attracting more than double the amount of Istanbul rival Besiktas. Other teams to make the top five are Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor and Istanbulspor.

Turkish football has been most popular among German fans, followed by supporters from Lebanon and Iraq.

The Passolig ticketing system has been in place since the end of the 2013-14 season.

Image: Ronnie Macdonald