Every year since 1640 Turkey’s best wrestlers have gathered once a year for the oldest wrestling contest in the world. Once held in a grassy field of Kirkpinar, the world-renowned Janissaries (an elite fraternity of body guards to the imperial Sultans) trained and mastered in the art as preparation for combat. Today, about 1,000 barefoot wrestlers take part in a ‘sudden death’ style competition wearing only a pair of leather trousers and a lathering of omega 3 rich olive oil.
Competitors pair off, grappling and struggling to gain a grip on their opponent. Tactical moves include a hand down the side of the pants trick and the common schoolboy ‘wedgie’ (grab, lift, flip and throw) to pin ones opponent to the ground! The winner goes on to fight another winner, and so on, until there is only one wrestler left standing.
Originally matches had no set duration and could go on for one or two days. Competitors in the fierce June/ July sunshine must have fried, so thankfully in 1975, matches were capped to a maximum duration of 40 minutes.
Oil wrestling is a revered national sport, which is over 5 centuries old, with champions becoming celebrities and the Turkish president making the journey to present the prized champions crown. A colourful fair also accompanies the event with market stalls selling all variety of curios, gypsy music, singing and dancing - a Bohemian atmosphere indeed!
|Oil Wrestling Kirkpinar||All Dates||USD $299||USD $89|
Please note that this bolt-on is only available during the following periods.
|19th Jun 2014 - 22nd Jun 2014|
Oil Wrestling Kirkpinar is available on the following trips