65th Gillette Milliyet Athlete of the Year awards have been presented!

The most prestigious sports awards of Turkey, Gillette Milliyet Athlete of the Year awards held for the 65th time this year were distributed to their recipients during a spectacular ceremony held at the Volkswagen Arena on the 27th of March 2019, Wednesday.

The best of sports received their awards during a presentation by renowned TV host Beyazıt Öztürk. Whereas about 13 million votes were cast for 42 candidates in seven different categories, two significant changes in the content dating back 65 years brought about admiration and respect. The first was a social responsibility project coordinated in cooperation with Gillette and Milliyet for “giving sporting equipment to 35,000 children in need” with significant contributions from TMOK and Mr. Mehmet Kasapoğlu, Minister of Youth and Sports. While the second was awarded in honor of Erdoğan Demirören, owner of Milliyet, a lover of his country and of sports who passed away last year.

The 65th Gillette Milliyet Athlete of the Year awards organized since 1954 with the sponsorship of Gillette for the fourth time were broadcast live on TV8. National Athlete Ramil Guliyev received the “Athlete of the Year” award for the second consecutive year, reaching a significant success. National Team player Cengiz Ünder from AS Roma was selected as the “Footballer of the Year.” In addition, the Erdoğan Demirören Award, presented for the first time this year, was given to Turkish Airlines (THY) by Demirören Holding Chairman Yıldırım Demirören who presented the award to THY Chairman of the Board İlker Aycı.

This year marked a first at the Gillette Milliyet Athlete of the Year Awards. It was announced that sports equipment support will be provided to 35,000 students led by Gillette, leading men’s personal care brand of P&G and Milliyet with contributions by the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports and Turkish National Olympics Committee.

A jury of 50 individuals included Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Mehmet Kasapoğlu, TFF President Hüsnü Güreli, TMOK President and IOC Vice President Uğur Erdener, Demirören Holding Chairman Yıldırım Demirören, Spor Toto Director of Organization Bünyamin Bozgeğik, Demiören Media CEO Mehmet Soysal, Milliyet Chief Editor Mete Belovacıklı, Milliyet Director of Sports Tayfun Bayındır, Fenerbahçe Club President Ali Koç, Galatasaray Club President Mustafa Cengiz and TBF President Hidayet Türkoğlu. Cüneyt Çakır, an experienced referee with FIFA cockade, participated in the award ceremony in addition to more than 1,000 individuals including candidate athletes, teams and leading names from the community.

Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu: We will provide sporting equipment support to 35,000 children.

Ramil Guliyev, who won the “Athlete of the Year” award for the second consecutive year, accepted his award from Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu. The youth and sports minister made a speech during the ceremony.

“We have been striving for 17 years to transform Turkey into a country of sports. We have completed many investments under the guidance of our esteemed president that provide the necessary boost to Turkish sports. I can safely say that the world has not seen the likes of the sports facility drive that we successfully put into practice in recent years. We have the newest sports facilities in Europe. Thanks to the many valuable projects that have gone underway consecutively, we will succeed in making sports become more popular in the community while also increasing our success in sports. We are taking revolutionary steps with projects such as SporTürkiye, Yüzme Bilmeyen Kalmasın, Sporun Öncüsü Kadınlar [and] Yetenek Taraması. We will keep on working devotedly to carry Turkish sports higher with support from you and all of our shareholders. Because it is vital that we act with a spirit of unity and that we support each other in order to complete this period of advancement successfully. In addition to the awards that will be presented tonight, I wish to announce some good news related to an important social responsibility project that just went into effect. We will provide sporting equipment to 35,000 children in southeastern Anatolia with votes cast for the “Athletes of the Year”. Of course, we are always mobilizing all the resources of our ministry for our children and youth. However, I also believe it is very important that such a prestigious organization has also transformed into a social responsibility project.”

Demirören Holding Chairman Yıldırım Demirören: Sports is not only football

Presenting the Erdoğan Demirören Award to Turkish Airlines (THY) General Manager İlker Aycı, Yıldırım Demirören said: “First of all, esteemed minister, valued friends and guests, welcome to the ceremony for the 65th Milliyet Awards. You have honored us. Sports is not only football, it is a very wide field. Yes, we have shortcomings. We cannot fully introduce sports other than football in Turkey. This is our fault. We have to be more careful. The biggest responsibility is that of the sponsors as well as sports clubs for the improvement of sports in general. This Erdoğan Demirören Award is thus presented to THY for making significant contributions to the improvement of sports.”

P&G Chairman of the Board, Turkey and Caucasus Tankut Turnaoğlu: We are happy for breaking new ground.

Eskişehirspor coach Fuat Çapa was awarded the Gillette-like Movement of the Year Award after calling İbrahim Halil Öner, one of his players, out of the game following the injury of Yusuf Akbulut from the opposing team during the Karabükspor-Eskişehirspor match.

P&G Chairman of the Board, Turkey and Caucasus Tankut Turnaoğlu presented the award to Çapa. Turnaoğlu defined the Gillette-like athlete as one who never quits, who stands out with a respectful attitude as well as achieved successes, who sets an example by always acting fair and just, who gives assurance to the team while inspiring future generations. After the award, Turnaoğlu said: “As both P&G and Gillette, we love being active in sports; we believe in the unifying and healing powers of sports and strive to ensure that especially the young people are actively interested in sports.” Moreover, Turnaoğlu added that they are part of a very important social responsibility project for training the fair, respectful, honest, hardworking athletes of the future with support from Milliyet, the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the Turkish National Olympic Committee saying, “We are happy to break new ground!”

Those at the Peak of Sports in 2018…

  • Cengiz Ünder received the Gillette Milliyet Footballer of the Year Award with his striking performance in Rome. Utku Cenikli received the award in the name of Ünder.
  • Erdoğan Demirören Award was received by General Manager İlker Aycı representing THY. The award was presented to Aycı by Demirören Holding Chairman of the Board Yıldırım Demirören and Demirören Holding Vice Chairman Meltem Demirören Oktay.
  • Ramil Guliyev received the Athlete of the Year Award for the second consecutive year. Guliyev received the award from Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu.
  • Gillette Venus Sportswoman of the Year Award was presented to İrem Yaman who became European and World Champion in Taekwondo. The young athlete received her award from former National Volleyball Player Neslihan Demir Güler.
  • The 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor Team received the Gillette Team of the Year Award for the second consecutive time. The award was presented by Turkey Founding President of the Espor Federation Alper Afşin Özdemir.
  • Demirören Holding Chairman Yıldırım Demirören presented the Team of the Year award to VakıfBank Women’s Volleyball Team.
  • The “Coach of the Year” award was presented for a second consecutive time to the head coach of Fenerbahçe Basketball Team which became the 2017-2018 champion in the Tahincioğlu Basketball Super League and went on to become second in the EuroLeague final. Cenk Randa received the award on behalf of the coach from Hidayet Türkoğlu, chief advisor for the president and Turkey Basketball Federation president.
  • Ozan Kabak of Stuttgart was chosen as the Debut Athlete of the Year. He was transferred to BundesLiga team Stuttgart following his superior performance at Galatasaray during the first half of the 2018-2019 season. Fazıl Güde Özdemir received the award on behalf of the 19-year-old athlete. Ozak Kabak thanked sports fans with a video.
  • The Amputee National Team of Turkey which gave us tremendous pride when they were crowned second in the Amputee World Cup held in Mexico in November 2018 received the, “Paralympic Team of the Year’’ award which was presented to the team by Chairman of the Sports Toto Organization Bünyamin Bozgeyik.
  • Renowned Portuguese wingman of Beşiktaş, Ricardo Quaresma, received the ‘’Altınyıldız Classics Special Award” and received his award from BR Retail Stores Board Member Erdem Tınarlıoğlu.
  • While the successful goalkeeper of Başakşehir, Mert Günok received the “HDI Insurance Special Award” presented by HDI Insurance General Manager Ceyhan Hancıoğlu; the ‘’Namık Sevik Special Award’’ was presented to Cemal Ersen by Mete Belovacıklı, editor-in-chief of the Milliyet newspaper.
  • ‘’İslam Çupi Special Award’’ was presented to İsmet Badem, the renowned name of Turkish basketball who passed away last September. The award was presented by Milliyet Newspaper Sports Manager Tayfun Bayındır to Badem’s son, Burçin Badem.
  • Fatih Arda İpçioğlu received the Milka Skier of the Year Award Special Award. Devrim Karadeniz from Mondalez International presented the award.