Rifaat Turk

Rifaat Turk

Rifaat "Jimmy" Turk (رفعت ترك; רפעת טורק, born 16 September 1954) is an Israeli former football player and manager and the current deputy mayor of Tel Aviv. Turk was the first Arab to play for the Israel national team and to represent the country at the Olympic Games.


Football career

Born in Jaffa, Turk was the son of a fisherman and dropped out of school during the eighth grade.. After being spotted by a scout in 1970 at the age of 16, he joined Hapoel Tel Aviv's youth team, and made his debut for the club in 1975. The following year he made his debut for the Israel national team, and also became the first Arab to represent Israel at the Olympic games when he played in the football tournament of the 1976 Summer Olympics. In 1980 he was named Israel's player of the year.

After leaving Hapoel Tel Aviv in 1984, Turk signed for Hapoel Jerusalem. He retired from playing in 1987, and went on to manage several clubs, including Hapoel Tayibe, the first Arab club to play in the top division.

Political career

Turk is a member of Meretz-Yachad and was elected to the city council in 1998. In 2003 he was elected the city's deputy mayor.

Personal life

Turk's son Hanes is part of Hapoel Tel Aviv's youth system.


External links

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