Oil wrestling festival starts in Kırkpınar

Oil wrestling festival starts in Kırkpınar

EDİRNE - Anadolu Agency
Oil wrestling festival starts in Kırkpınar

The longest-running sports event of Turkey, the Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling competition is being held in Edirne. DHA photo

Turkey’s longest-running sports event, the Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling competition, will be held for the 652nd time this weekend in the northwestern province of Edirne. The festival was set to start on July 5. A total of 678 oil wrestlers, called “pehlivans,” have been registered to enter the bouts in 14 different age and weight categories in the three-day tournament.

President Gül to attend

Turkish President Abdullah Gül is also expected to attend the final day of the event on July 7.

Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling is recognized as part of UNESCO cultural heritage and is one of the oldest sports in the world. It has been practiced since 1357 in Rumeila. Media, artists and celebrities from Turkey and all over the world as well as millions of spectators will attend the event, which includes a varying array of activities every year. Head wrestling and other forms of wrestling contests generate great enthusiasm.

Wrestlers wear tight, short, leather pants called “kıspet,” made of water buffalo leather, that weigh approximately 13 kilograms. The wrestlers cover their bodies with olive oil before the bouts begin.