Turkey Euro 2024 squad review: Montella selects three Serie A players

Turkey finished top of Group D in qualifying for Euro 2024 to make it through to their sixth European Championship.

Vincenzo Montella's side aren't fancied to win Euro 2024, but they should have enough about them to progress through to the knockout stage from a competitive-looking Group F.

Turkey Euro 2024 squad – Key facts

Turkey have now made it to the last three tournaments, and while the Crescent Stars have never won a tournament, they've come close, finishing third in the 2002 World Cup and at Euro 2008. Goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber has the most caps for Turkey (120), while legendary striker Hakan Şükür is the nation's top goalscorer with 51 goals in 112 caps.

First professional fixture: 1923

Nickname: The Crescent-Stars

Current FIFA ranking: 40th

Highest FIFA ranking: 5th (June 2004)

Year of Euro debut: 1996

Best Euro performance: Third place (2008)

Player to watch: Hakan Çalhanoğlu

Full Turkey Euro 2024 squad

There were no real shocks when Vincenzo Montella announced the initial provisional Turkey Euro 2024 squad. Due to injury, Cengiz Ünder was the biggest name missing, and would have been selected otherwise.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray's Halil Dervişoğlu (16 caps, six goals) and Kenan Karaman of Schalke (31 caps, six goals) have not been called up.

Ugurcan Cakir in action for Turkey
Ugurcan Cakir in action for Turkey – Photo by iconsport

Goalkeeper

  • Mert Günok (Beşiktaş)
  • Uğurcan Çakır (Trabzonspor)
  • Altay Bayındır (Manchester United)
  • Doğan Alemdar (Troyes)
  • Berke Özer (Eyüpspor)

Defence

  • Zeki Çelik (Roma)
  • Merih Demiral (Al-Ahli)
  • Mert Müldür (Fenerbahçe)
  • Ferdi Kadıoğlu (Fenerbahçe)
  • Cenk Özkacar (Valencia)
  • Abdülkerim Bardakcı (Galatasaray)
  • Samet Akaydin (Panathinaikos)
  • Ahmetcan Kaplan (Ajax)

Midfield

  • Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Inter Milan)
  • Kaan Ayhan (Galatasaray)
  • Okay Yokuşlu (West Bromwich Albion)
  • Orkun Kökçü (Benfica)
  • Salih Özcan (Borussia Dortmund)
  • İsmail Yüksek (Fenerbahçe)
  • Berat Özdemir (Trabzonspor)
  • Can Uzun (FC Nürnberg)

Attack

  • Cenk Tosun (Beşiktaş)
  • Yusuf Yazıcı (Lille)
  • İrfan Kahveci (Fenerbahçe)
  • Kerem Aktürkoğlu (Galatasaray)
  • Abdülkadir Ömür (Hull City)
  • Barış Alper Yılmaz (Galatasaray)
  • Yunus Akgün (Leicester City)
  • Arda Güler (Real Madrid)
  • Kenan Yıldız (Juventus)
  • Bertuğ Yıldırım (Rennes)
  • Oğuz Aydın (Alanyaspor)
  • Semih Kılıçsoy (Beşiktaş)
Will Turkey qualify from Group F?
Image shows the rejoicing of Arda Gueler, Hakan Calhanoglu and Kenan Yildiz – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in the Turkey Euro 2024 squad

Oğuz Aydın (Alanyaspor)

Considering that there wasn't enough room for the likes of Yusuf Sarı, Halil Dervişoğlu or Kenan Karaman in Vincent Montella's provisional Turkey squad for Euro 2024, it seems a surprise to see Alanyaspor's uncapped 23-year-old winger Oğuz Aydın getting a call-up.

The former Bucaspor man has earned his place in the Turkey squad after scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists in the Super Lig this season. Clearly the winger's end-of-season form has given Montella something to think about ahead of his final squad selection and the Italian manager will be taking a closer look at the Alanyaspor star.

Ahmetcan Kaplan (Ajax)

Despite only featuring in 11 Eredivisie games this season, Ahmetcan Kaplan has made it into Montella's Turkey squad.

The 21-year-old defender has never been capped by Turkey at senior level and has only played a handful of games for his club side this season, yet he has still been deemed worthy of a spot in Turkey's provisional squad.

The youngster made the move to the Netherlands after impressing in the very early stages of his Trabzonspor career. It will be interesting to see if the Ajax man makes it into the final squad that will travel to Germany later this month.

Ahmetcan Kaplan
Ahmetcan Kaplan in action for Ajax – Photo by Icon sport

In-form players for Turkey

Can Uzun (Nurnberg)

This teenage midfielder is one of the most coveted players in European football right now following a fantastic campaign in the 2. Bundesliga with Nurnberg.

The 18-year-old, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League, scored 14 goals in 22 appearances across all competitions for the German club and Montells will be delighted to see the young star commit his international future to Turkey as he was eligible to play for Germany as well.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Inter Milan)

The Turkey captain enjoyed another fruitful campaign in Serie A with Inter Milan, scoring 13 goals in 31 appearances for the Italian giants.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu scored 15 goals across all competitions this season, his best-ever total since the early days of his career in Germany with Karlsruher where he once scored 17 goals in 36 league games.

Çalhanoğlu is a threat from open play as well as set-pieces and will be Turkey's playmaker at Euro 2024 and one of the main goal threats.

Hakan Calhanoglu during the recent friendly International match against Japan- Photo by Icon sport

Turkey Predicted Euro 2024 XI

Turkey vs Georgia

(4-5-1) Çakır, Bardakcı, Akaydın, Özkacar, Kadıoğlu, Çalhanoğlu, Özcan, Yazıcı, Ömür, Aktürkoğlu, Tosun

Montella has played 4-5-1 in the majority of Turkey's games heading into Euro 2024, with a slight variation depending on the opponent. There may be an extra holding midfielder to play alongside Çalhanoğlu, who Montella likes to use in a deep-lying playmaker role. Nonetheless, we expect them to go with a strong XI against Euro newcomers Georgia in their opening group game.

Turkey vs Portugal

(4-5-1) Çakır, Bardakcı, Akaydın, Özkacar, Kadıoğlu, Çalhanoğlu, Özcan, Yazıcı, Ömür, Aktürkoğlu, Tosun

We do not expect too much tinkering from Montella with the starting XI, although he may set up more defensively against Portugal in their second match, who will be favourites to win the group.

Turkey vs Czech Republic

(4-5-1) Çakır, Bardakcı, Akaydın, Özkacar, Kadıoğlu, Çalhanoğlu, Özcan, Yazıcı, Ömür, Aktürkoğlu, Tosun

Again, the personnel may not change for Turkey, but they may have a more attacking mindset in their final group match against Czech Republic, in case they need the points to advance to the knockouts. Çalhanoğlu will likely operate further forward in this case, and be given a free role to dictate play.


A lifelong Evertonian, James started writing for an Everton fan site in the mid-2000s and then developed his own blog covering football transfers from across Europe's big leagues before becoming a regular match preview and betting tips writer for Biggest Free Bets. James moved to Free Super Tips next, and then Racing Post, where he worked as a full-time betting tips writer for a few years. Following that, James joined Football Whispers in December 2020 and has been a permanent fixture ever-since, currently covering the Premier League amongst other things