Incredibly, the team failed qualify for the respective tournaments in 1998, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012, making their relative success when they did qualify all the more surprising during their rare appearances on the biggest stages of the game.
Current manager Senol Günes was the manager who masterminded their results at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan. Appointed for his first spell in charge of the national team in 2000, Günes was no stranger to success during his playing career as a goalkeeper with Trabzonspor. Qualifying for the play-offs as runners-up behind Sweden in Group 4, a goal from Okan Burak handed Turkey a 1-0 advantage in the 1st leg against Austria in Vienna, before a convincing 5-0 win in the return match in Istanbul a few days later sealed their place at the finals.
An opening 2-1 defeat against Brazil was followed by a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica, but goals from Hasan Sas, Bülent Korkmaz and Ümit Davala earned the side a 3-0 win over China PR in the final group game in Seoul to take Turkey through to the knock-out stages. Respective 1-0 victories over Japan and Senegal followed to setup a semi-final against eventual tournament winners Brazil. A goal from Ronaldo early in the second half ended Turkey's dream, but they did claim third-place with a 3-2 win over South Korea in a match that saw the great Hakan Şükür score the fastest goal in World Cup history after 10.8 seconds.
Legendary Turkish coach Fatih Terim is currently in his fourth spell as manager of Galatasaray, but it was in his second spell as the manager of the national team that he guided his country to the semi-finals of EURO 2008. The tournament was held in Austria and Switzerland, and as they did at the 2002 World Cup, Turkey began the group stage with a defeat as Portugal claimed a 2-0 win in Geneva. However, a late injury-time winner from Arda Turan against Switzerland in the second game earned a 2-1 win for Turkey against the hosts.
More late drama followed against the Czech Republic as two goals from Nihat Kahveci in the final three minutes edged a 3-2 victory to ensure Turkey would qualify from the group ahead of their opponents. A penalty shoot-out win over Croatia followed in the next round to setup a semi-final against Germany in Basel. This time, Turkey would suffer at the hands of a late winner, as Philipp Lahm's 90th minute goal proved to be the deciding factor in a 3-2 defeat.
Turkey failed to make it through the group stage at EURO 2016, their only appearance at the tournament since reaching the last four in 2008, while they have never competed at the World Cup finals since claiming their third-place finish in 2002. However, it was under the guidance of Güneş that Turkey achieved that success on the world stage, and the veteran coach knows what it takes to succeed.