Euro 2024 in Germany is also a home tournament of sorts for Turkey

A soccer ball lies on the first section of carpet for UEFA EURO 2024. David Inderlied/dpa
A soccer ball lies on the first section of carpet for UEFA EURO 2024. David Inderlied/dpa

Germany are the host nation of Euro 2024 but the large Turkish community in the country could also give their team a feeling of playing at home.

"Turkey will have a home field atmosphere at the Euros," Turkey midfielder Salih Özkan from Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund told dpa.

"You could already see what can happen in Berlin during the game against Germany in November. That was a little foretaste, I'd say."

Tens of thousands of Turkey fans had attended the November friendly their team won 3-2, and they will also bank on big support at the Euros where they face Georgia and Portugal in Dortmund, and the Czech Republic in Hamburg in the group stage.

Big Turkish community in Germany, including players

Some 2.9 million in Germany have a Turkish background, including several players.

Özkan was born in Cologne and helped Germany win the under-21 Euros in 2021 before deciding to play senior team football for his parents' country.

Defender Kaan Ayhan is from Gelsenkirchen, Kenan Yildiz and Can Uzun were born in Regensburg, and Inter Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu in Mannheim.

"For the Turkish fans who live here it's something very special to have the national team here and so close to them," Özcan said.

"Turkey is generally a very euphoric country, especially when it comes to the national team. We players will feel that. That will spur us on.

"We have a lot of German-speaking players in the Turkish national team and I think everyone is really looking forward to it. For them, the Euros is a bit like coming home. Many of the players‘ families still live in Germany."

Host cities getting ready

Turkish musicians have been booked around the team's opener against debutants Georgia on June 18, and while not expecting any trouble, Dortmund police will inform about their efforts in Turkish.

"There is no special risk assessment for the Turkish matches that differs from the assessments for other international matches," Dortmund police told dpa.

"We assume that the German-Turks living in Dortmund and the surrounding area will actively participate in the events."

Team hopes for boost

Turkey's best result was a place in the semi-finals in 2008 which they lost 3-2 against Germany from a 90th minute Philipp Lahm goal.

Ozkan is confident that the fans will boost the team, saying that "I am enjoying the euphoria.

‘Of course there's also pressure. The country is big and there are a lot of hopes associated with the national team.

"If things don't go well, you get a bit of a kick in the bum, to put it bluntly. But for us, the anticipation of the fans and the feeling of having a home European Championship clearly prevails," he said.