Turkey Travel




Turkey Travel – Oil Wrestling

Ever fancied the sport of wrestling? If yes, then here’s a chance to see some really professional fighters wrestle it out in what can only be called as one of the most popular sports in Turkey. Called Oil Wrestling, the sport is slightly different from your normal form of wrestling that takes place in a ring within closed walls.

Fondly called as Yagli Gures, the sport of oil wrestling in Turkey takes place under the sun in an open ground with millions of spectators surrounding the wrestlers. This age old tradition is more popularly celebrated like a fair and come June and July, the entire country is transformed into one huge wrestling ring.


History of the Sport: The sport of oil wrestling dates back to the ancient Ottoman period when the Sultans and their guards used to hold tournaments for fun while they camped out during war. Wrestlers (also called as  Pehlivans) later competed with each other in the annual Spring Festival that was celebrated in the month of May and winners used to get a leather pant (called Kispet) as a reward. The tradition was handed down generation over generation, and today, wrestlers still wear these Kispets when they take part in the tournament.

Venue of the Tournament: As June starts off, small tournaments take place all over the country. The winners of these tournaments move on to larger competitions and take part in them as well to get a shot at the title. These individual tournaments culminate into a single very large event by the end of July. This single event is conducted as a fair that courses over two days.

The venue for the final event is usually the Edrine province, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. It is said that two legendary wrestlers who continued to wrestle till they died, were buried in a site called Kirkpinar. The area derives its name from the several springs that can be found there and so is also called as the place of Forty Springs.

Event Particulars: The final event usually takes place over two days with contests, dances, traditional music shows and other such entertainment programs. The wrestlers who take part in the competitions adorn shorts made of water buffalo leather (which are also called as Kispet), and apply olive oil all over their bodies. Korean Beauty

There are different categories to contest in and the wrestlers are divided into these groups depending on their strength, agility, experience and superiority. The highest class of wrestlers is the Bas category and the fighter who wins in this group is awarded the title “bas pehlivan”.

The time allotted for each match in the head category is 40 minutes, with an additional 7 minutes, if the score is even. The winner of the match is the wrestler who manages to gain the so called golden point (final point) at the final stage of the match.

In addition to becoming the bas pehlivan, the winner of the tournament is awarded the Championship Trophy and the title “Champion of Turkey” by the President of Turkey, the main sponsor for the next tournament (called aga) and the Mayor.

The victor also gets a special reward of over 100,000 US Dollars in prize money. If a wrestler manages to win the title for three consecutive years, he is awarded a 14 Carat gold belt which weighs about 1.5 kilograms.

Don’t miss out on the chance to watch these spectacular competitions take place between June and July every year. It’s a wonderful tradition in Turkey and you can be a part of all the excitement by planning your holiday to the country around the time of the final tournament in Kirkpinar.

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    Turkey Travel

    Turkey Travel

    Ever fancied the sport of wrestling? If yes, then here’s a chance to see some really professional fighters wrestle it out in what can only be called as one o






    Turkey Travel
    Turkey Travel

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