Turkish Wrestling

» Posted by on Sep 6, 2019 in MMA | Comments Off on Turkish Wrestling

Turkish Wrestling

Turkey has one of the strangest sports to hit the dirt! Wrestlers, well-oiled with olive oil applied by their opponents, dressed in knee-length shorts, made from water buffalo hide, and are allowed to put their hands down their opponents’ pants (Kispet). This gives him the advantage of having something. Initially, the olive oil was used as an insect repellent and was not washed off before a fight, and this then became traditional, even although more efficient insecticides became available.

Edirne’s Yearly Gathering

Every year contestants and spectators gather in Edirne, this year being the 658th year that this contest took place, and which lasts six days. It is time for celebrations, entertainment, including belly dancing, and traditional dance, song and music. The event has been held in Edirne since 1346 when it was the capital of Turkey and is the most extended surviving sport in the world. Other countries also enjoy wrestling, such as parts of Greece, Eastern Macedonia, and Thrace. Before the tenth-century, wrestlers were naked, and it was only with the advent of Islam that contestants were required to “cover-up”.

Yagli Gures

Yagli Gures (oiled wrestling) was first practised in the days of the Persians possible as far back as 1000BC. These days there is a substantial prize, the winner being awarded +- 100 000 Us Dollars, and if the winner can win three years in a row, he receives a 14ct Gold Belt. Businesses can also sponsor champions, adding to their winnings. In the early days when wrestling was just for fun, two competitors fought from early morning through the day, until midnight, and both died was exhaustion. Most top wrestlers train an apprentice who will ultimately take over from his master when the master retires.

Rules

Each match is limited to 40 minutes, and, if there is no winner, a further seven minutes is fought, and the winner is selected on points. In lessor categories, the contest lasts thirty minutes, and if there is no winner, a further seven minutes is allowed, and the contestant scoring the last point, known as the Golden Point, wins.

Before 1975, some matches could go on for two days until there was a winner. On the final day of the sports, the country’s President attends the games and presents the prize to the ultimate winner. The most excellent winner in the history of the competition was Alico, who held the title for 27 years.

Before the final match is contested the organisers (the municipality) holds an auction and the highest bidder becomes the “Aga” for the next year’s tournament when he is able to preside over the games, welcome guests and invites them for dinner and generally oversees the games, even to the extent of cancelling fights, adjudicating over the arguments and intervening wherever he chooses. In 2018 Seyfettin Selim won the auction with a bid of 113000 Euros, so he was the Aga for the 2019 celebrations.