|Turkish oil wrestling is a national sport in the Republic of Turkey. The tournaments, which exceed 40 per year in the whole of Turkey, last from spring to autumn. The top tournament is called "Kirkpinar historical oil wrestling rally", and is held every year in June at Edirne.|
| The site of the rally,
Edirne, is situated at west end of Turkey, approximately 230Km from
Istanbul. This ancient city has prospered for 100 years, and was
the 3rd capital of Ottoman empire following Iznik, and Bursa.
Also, it's a border city, in that the center of downtown Edirne is
approximately 5 kilometers from the Greek border. Moreover it is
10 kilometers from the Bulgarian border.
| The population of Edirne
is approximately 120,000, and is like a picture-postcard, surrounded by
the beautiful river, and the forest. If you have some free time,
it would be good to go a little way further to the border in Greece,
and Bulgaria. At restaurants near the border, you can enjoy lunch
while watching the river flow slowly through, or listen to the wild
bird songs in the sunlight filtering down through the trees of the
| When you have been
satisfied with historical Edirne, and the natural beauty, let's head
north-northwest from the center of downtown. Soon you will reach
Saraych stadium, where the oil wrestling rally of Kirkpinar is
hosted. If you walk, it is only 2 kilometers through the suburbs,
or 30 minutes.
| The wrestling matches
always end before sunset. After returning to the town, have a
deliscious Turkish dinner. At restaurants in Turkey, the food is
displayed in glass cases, and is also a feast for the eyes. The
bread, which is prepared at the table is free.
| When looking around
nearby, you may be surprised by being surrounded by men with great
physiques. During the period of the rally, Edirne is full of
wrestlers. The master of Kirkpinar is Tasci, and Saban is the
champion of 2005. Almost all the wrestlers dine at ordinary
restaurants in town. If you see your favorite wrestlers, you
should ask to take a souvenir picture, and stand in line with
them. They will readily agree to your request.
article about Edirne
Pictures of Edirne
January 2006 kirkpinar.jp