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The Dutchman believes that they and Galatasaray have proven that there is no longer a big gulf in class between Turkish sides and Europe's elite

Dirk Kuyt hailed a "historic night" for Fenerbahce after the Turkish side progressed to the semi-finals of the Europa League at the expense of Lazio.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg in Istanbul, the Super Lig side claimed a hard-earned 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico to progress to the final four of a major European competition for the first time in the club's history.

Kuyt was overjoyed by Fenerbahce's success, believing his side's achievement, along with Galatasaray's appearance in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, underlines just how rapidly the Turkish game is growing.

"This is really a historic night," the former Liverpool man told reporters in Rome. "We are closing the gap to [Europe's elite] more and more, and being in the semis is so important.

"Now we want to celebrate this success. Then we will focus to the next step. But we want to go to the final."

On-loan Juventus defender Reto Ziegler was just as enthused by Fenerbahce's progression to the semis.

"We are so happy," he added. "We have written a new history for the club.

"We knew the return match was going to be difficult. But we have proven ourselves in Europe. That is the reason why I chose to join Fenerbahce."

Fenerbahce are joined in the last four by Basel, Benfica and 2012 Champions League winners Chelsea.

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