Besiktas is a Turkish multi-sport club founded in 1903, which is one of the three biggest national sports club in Turkey. Turkey’s first multi-sport club Beşiktaş JK got the prestigious ISO-Quality Management Systems and OHSAS- Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Certification. Some of the branches are football, volleyball, basketball, handball, athletics, gymnastics, table tennis et cetera. The sport club has over 1700 staff and athletes.
Beşiktaş Wheelchair Basketball Team is the professional wheelchair basketball team. The team cooperates with Besiktas Disability Association and Besiktas Municipality.
The Turkish Wheelchair Basketball Super League is the biggest league in the world with men and women players. Established in 1997, governed by the Turkey Disabled Sports Federation. The men’s wheelchair basketball team of Turkey ranked first at the European Wheelchair Basketball Championship.
Besiktas Wheel Chair Basketball team won the super league cup many times, Willi Brinkmann Cup and Andre Vergauen Cup many times. Additionally, the Turkish Wheelchair Basketball Super League is the biggest leaque in the world.
Besiktas JK is the first sport club, which, is interested in disabled sports, and one of the biggest companies in Turkey, Koc RMK Marine is the sponsor of the Besiktas wheelchair basketball team. Koç Group today is Turkey’s largest industrial group in terms of revenue, exports, share in the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the taxes it has paid and the number of its employees. Koç Holding, as the driving force of the Turkish economy continues to be the only Turkish company in Fortune 500’s list.
Dissemination and Raising Awareness
Wheelchair basketball is basketball played by people with varying physical disabilities that disqualify them from playing an able-bodied sport. These include spina-bifida, birth defects, cerebral palsy, and paralysis due to accident, amputations and many other disabilities. However, both men and women athletes, and who have no disability or special needs are also play in the same team.
The team visits high schools and Universities in all around the country to for raising awareness. “A Disability-Free life in Istanbul” Introduced to Public 09.06.2010. The introduction of the project titled, “A Disability-Free Life in Istanbul,” which is being sponsored by Istanbul Education Directorate, DG Farma and our Disability Sports Section, was made at the BJK Nevzat Demir Sports Facilities.
Representative is one of the well-known person who works for disability. He indicates his experiences as a wheelchair user, disabled person. He actively works with Besiktas Municipality, Turkey Paralympic Committee and many Disabled Unions all around the country. He participated and organized many projects, panels, workshop about all aspects of the disability but indicates the importance of “raising awareness” and mentioned that
“We do not actively focus on employing persons with disabilities we will treat them equally and sport is associated not only with workplace inclusion but also with social inclusion.”
The Club considers accessibility in all areas and almost no barriers in the design of sport hall, buildings, offices, steps, thresholds, sidewalk edges etc. However transportation is the main problematic, they still need bus for wheelchair athletes.
As he mentioned the importance of raising awareness, he believes that disabled athletes help the goal who are able to change the sense of disability.