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Oil Wrestling Championship

on the Greek-Turkish border.

Are you ready for the gutsy national sport of the greatest fighters in the world? This years June 30th to July 6th you can go to Turkey to enjoy the annual Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Championship at Edimine stadium, which is just on the Greek-Turkish border. It's one of the most popular sports in Turkey.

Nowadays, when it comes to Turkish Oil Wrestling there is so much more to enjoy than just the skills of the competitors. It will last all day long, with traditional Turkish cuisine, music and other celebrations to be enjoyed.

This particular sport started back in 1065 BC, when the Persians were rulers of the country, there was a wrestler who participated in it known as Rostam who was revered by many of the Turkish. They believed that he had the abilities to save the country from the evil forces that affected it. Today this sport is over five centuries old and in the past was a means of training the troops, but it is now a popular spectator sport.

Those brave souls who compete in this “sudden death” style of wrestling are clad only in short leather trousers made of water buffalo leather and a good bit of olive oil and on average weigh around 13kg. Those participating also are required to cover themselves with olive oil and this is the reason for it being called oil wrestling.

The competitors are paired off and try to gain a good grip on their opponent. They try to flip each other over and pin them to the ground. The object is to be the last wrestler standing. This champion then becomes a national celebrity.

The oil wrestling lasts 7days and it attracts not only all Turkey, but also the Middle East and Eastern Europe as well as foreign tourists. If you are a family, and the ladies and kids aren't into oily wrestling, you can go outside the wrestling arena you can enjoy a colorful fair that has the sights and sounds of a Bohemian way of living, lamb roasts and belly dancers. For three days the field is crowded with simultaneous matches in eleven divisions, ranging from school kids to forty-year-old masters. The sun is hot and the fights are long.

This year the funny competition will celebrate its 650the anniversary!

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