Established in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul in 1903, Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü (Beşiktaş Gymnastics Club), aka Beşiktaş KJ, is a Turkish multi-sport club. It is one of the top three football teams in Turkey and it has never been demoted to the second division. The team's home colours are white with some black stripes. Beşiktaş has two popular nicknames: Kara Kartallar (Black Eagles) and Siyah Beyazlılar (Black and Whites).
During the early years of the club, the team played in the Istanbul Football League. From 1923 to 1954, Beşiktaş won 13 titles. After playing for more than half a century in Istanbul's local league, they finally made it to the top national league in 1959. There were some decade-long disputes regarding two Federation Cup titles (1957 and 1958) that had not been recognised. In 2002, the Turkish Federation decided that Beşiktaş could count these victories as valid for the country's star system (1 golden star = five championship titles).
Beşiktaş kept on winning trophies on a regular basis up until the nineties, although the 1970s were a bit quieter. The best period for the Black Eagles was the early 1990s, when they won the Turkish Championship and/or the Turkish Cup almost every season. Recently, the Black Eagles won the Turkish Süper Lig Championship of 2016/17.
Internationally, Beşiktaş got to the quarterfinals of the European Cup in 1987 before being defeated by Dynamo Kyiv. In 2002/03, they reached the UEFA Cup quarterfinals.
Some of the best players who wore the Beşiktaş jersey during the 110 years of existence of the club are: Mehmet Özdilek, Şeref Görkey, Ulvi Güveneroğlu, Kadir Akbulut, Metin Tekin, Gökhan Keskin, Samet Aybaba, İbrahim Üzülmez, Feyyaz Uçar, Ahmet Özacar, Sanlı Sarıalioğlu, Ali Gültiken, Ertuğrul Sağlam, Şenol Birol, Sergen Yalçın, Bobô, Ricardo Quaresma, Demba Ba, Nihat Kahveci, Mario Gómez, Hugo Almeida and Guti Hernández.
It is important to mention Rıza Çalımbay who played a total of 602 matches for the Black Eagles (1980 to 1996). Another outstanding player dis Hakkı Yeten. He played for Beşiktaş from 1931 to 1948 and became the top goal scorer in the history of the team: 382 goals in 439 matches.
Over the years, Beşiktaş has had financial trouble and faced corruption scandals. A few years ago, the President Fikret Orman began cleaning up the finances as well as promoting the team brand, and the results can be seen.
In 2017 the estimated total club value was 113.60 million euros. The supporters' attendance revenue made up the largest part of the income: 44.6 million euros. In addition, the team achieved revenues amounting to around 38 million euros for live broadcasting and 18 million euros in sponsorships for the same period.
The Beşiktaş supporters have often played a major role in the history of the club. The best known fan club is Beşiktaş Çarşı Grubu (Çarşı). During home matches, they take place in the Kapalı (Covered Stand) of the stadium. Well-known for their social and political involvement, the independent supporter group was founded in 1992. The majority of the fan-base of the Black Eagles comes from the working class and are left-wing.
With reference to social media, Beşiktaş has more than 5.5 million followers on Facebook and 3.6 million people follow the Istanbul team on their regular Twitter page. Beşiktaş KJ also has an English Twitter page with around 150,000 followers.
Completed in 2016, the home ground of Beşiktaş KJ is the Vodafone Park, near the Dolmabahçe Palace in the European part of Istanbul. This very modern stadium has a seating capacity of 41,188.
The stadium was built where the BKJ İnönü Stadium stood, which the team occupied from 1947 to 2013. This stadium was demolished in 2013, so the Black Eagles had to use two different stadiums while the Vodafone Stadium was being built. In the meantime, they played home matches at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium and the Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium.