NewsFlash - KIRKPINAR OIL WRESTLING

NewsFlash
KIRKPINAR OIL WRESTLING

This long-running tradition was reportedly conceived by Ottoman raiders, whose military commander, Süleyman Pasa, would let his bored soldiers unwind between bouts of actual battle by wrestling. According to legend, on one particularly memorable occasion, as the Ottoman army was returning to the Ottomans’ Asian stronghold in Bursa after conquering parts of Thrace, forty men scuffled at once, with the two fiercest fighters going at each other until past midnight when both died of exhaustion. When the remaining army had conquered Edirne, the victors referred to the forty soldiers in the name of Kirkpinar, where the wrestling competition has taken place every summer, near Edirne, since 1346. The idea is to prevent your opponent from getting a good grip, so more than 100 barrels of oil are used during the tournament. This really is no-holds-barred wrestling, with contestants grabbing anything to win. With a solid gold belt awarded to the victor, there’s everything to play for.