Rifaat "Jimmy" Turk (Arabic: رفعت ترك‎; Hebrew: רפעת טורק‎, born 16 September 1954) is a retired Arab-Israeli footballer, manager, and a former Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv.[1] Turk was the first Arab to play for the Israel national team and to represent the country at the Olympic Games.

Rifaat Turk
Rifaat Turk.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1954-09-16) 16 September 1954 (age 65)
Place of birth Jaffa, Israel
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1970–1972 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1984 Hapoel Tel Aviv
1983Hapoel Ramat Gan (loan)
1984–1986 Hapoel Jerusalem
National team
1976–1986 Israel 34 (3)
Teams managed
1997 Hapoel Tayibe
2015– 2016 Maccabi Ahi Nazareth
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Football careerEdit

Born in Jaffa, Turk was the son of a fisherman and dropped out of school during the eighth grade.[2] 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 1972.

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.[3] Turk was subjected to anti-Arab abuse during nearly every game he played.[4] In 1980, he was named Israel's player of the year.[2]

After leaving Hapoel Tel Aviv in 1984, Turk signed for Hapoel Jerusalem. He retired from playing in 1987,[2] and went on to manage several clubs, including Hapoel Tayibe, the first Arab club to play in the top division.

On 7 July 2015 replaced Nissan Yehezkel as Maccabi Ahi Nazareth's manager.[5] On 13 January 2016, he was fired from his job.


  • Israeli Championships (1):
    • 1980–81

Political careerEdit

Turk is a member of Meretz and was elected to the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality in 1998.[2] In 2003, he was elected the city's deputy mayor.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

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


  1. ^ Gutman, Matthew (11 March 2003). "Rifat Turk named Tel Aviv's first Arab deputy mayor". Jerusalem Post.
  2. ^ a b c d Rifat Turk: Scoring for Arab Israelis World Press Review, June 2003
  3. ^ a b 60 Sporting Heroes: No. 28 Rifat "Jimmy" Turk The Jerusalem Post, 7 April 2008
  4. ^ "England and Israel join for anti-racism football campaign". European Jewish Press. 7 March 2006. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
  5. ^ "Jimmy Turk signed to Ahi Nazareth". Double Pass. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.

External linksEdit