Football was played in Thessaloniki and Izmir as early as 1875. F.C. Smyrna (Izmir) was the first football club in Turkey. The game appeared in Istanbul in 1895. As The Ottoman Empire prohibited Turkish people from playing, these early sides were made up of wealthy English, Greek and Armenian expats.
In 1901 Fuat Hüsnü Kayacan was instrumental in forming a club called Black Stockings FC for Turkish players, but the police curtailed their activities and their one and only fixture, against Greek opposition, was abandoned.
Historians of Fenerbahçe identify Black Stockings FC as their predecessors. Fuat Hüsnü Kayacan had connections with all the major clubs in Istanbul at the time, being influential at both Fenerbahçe and Galatasary.
In 1908 football for Turkish subjects was decriminalised.