| The sturdy Turk wrestlers also look
uncomfortable from the heat.
They tried to go into the shade to wrestle. Judges often
"They must return to the center.".
|| But when they fought for a while in the sun,
they still worked
their way into the shade somehow. It was enjoyable to see.
Every time a judge brought them to the center
again, the audience
| I thought that audience was saying, "Make them
fight in the
shade because it is hot!". But that was not correct.
The audience was shouting, "Don't disturb them when we can watch
them nearer to us!".
|| Coke isn't sold in the stadium. There is a
with a faucet that a bucket was stuck under. But, it is always
Buying water outside the stadium is strongly suggested before watching.
The person in charge of the Turkish game committee said "Because
it is so hot, next year it will not be in July, the tournament of the
year will be held in June.".
in 1999 were held for 3 days from the 9th of July.
Kirkpinar World Championships
in 2000 were
held for 3 days from the 30th of June.
3 days from 29/June/2001,
3 days from 28/June/2002,
3 days from 27/June/2003.
| It seems that Turkish oil wrestling began in the
as entertainment for the Turkish soldiers during a battle in Ottoman
Empire 650 years ago. Edirne is located at the side of a river
passes through deep woods. In a suburb 2Km from Edirne, where the
river splits into 2, is where Kirkpinar is held. It is a
place where many springs gush out. You can imagine that it became
a resting place for soldiers tired from battles.
Kirkpinar actually means 'fourty (kirk) springs (pinar)'.
There is a nuance of "anyway very much" in the number 40 in
Turkey. There is a saying that, "One cup of coffee becomes a
in 40 years.". In Turkish tradition, '40 years' here are thought
of as 'a lifetime'.
The story has strayed a bit.
Soldiers began to wrestle in this place to kill
wrestled from sunrise to sunset.
It is said that there were a couple of soldiers that wrestled
all night, and the game wasn't settled. Eventually they died from
There is a legend that the springs which gushed out from their
burial area is the origin of the name of Kirkpinar.
Since the first champion appeared, the tournament
has been held
This tournament is the 638th. The reason why it is fewer
than 650, is that in the end of the 19th century, enemy troops
this place from the Balkan Wars. Therefore, there was a period
a tournament couldn't be held.
||The legend of Kirkpinar
About 1350 A.D. The 1st prince Suleyman of the
who held command of the military activities, constructed a camp with 40
of his soldiers. At that time, the situation was peaceful.
Therefore the soldiers of Suleyman, who were bored, began
on the plain to kill time. Gradually, matches were won, until at
last, only two soldiers who won were left, and kept fighting into the
Other soldiers were enjoying the final match of last 2 for a
Eventually, they went to bed in twos and threes as the night wore on,
the two soldiers who were left continued to fight.
| The next morning, some soldiers began to get up
at sunrise to
ascertain the game result of the previous night. And there, they
saw a sight which was hard to believe.
The two soldiers who had kept fighting till late at night, were
still standing, tightly grappled, but had breathed their last.
The soldiers who grieved over their comrades deaths, buried
the courageous soldiers at the foot of fig tree and offered a prayer.
In the next year, it is said a lot of beautiful springs welled
up around the tombs of two soldiers in the grasslands.
it was decided the place would be called "40 springs - Kirkpinar".
This legend is part of the history of prince Suleyman who never
held the throne. In 1358 A.D., Suleyman fell off of his horse,
his neck, and died. Next year, the second prince, Murat, became
||Dance on the grasslands
Before game begins, the wrestler with his
opponent do something
akin to a dance.
With two wrestlers standing up straight, they move in opposing
directions from each other respectively, and then alternately raise
hands high overhead. Suddenly they crouch down and touch the
momentarily, then turn around slowly, and approach each other again.
The moment they pass each other, they brush each others body
lightly, and continue. The part which brushes every time they
each other changes from the shoulder, to the stomach, the hips, the
etc, and evoke provocative poses from them.
After this has been repeated several times, finally, they don't
pass each other. Then they grapple intensely, and the game
| The rule regarding victory is simple.
Pressing the back
of an opponent against the ground, or lifting his whole body sky high,
are conditions for victory.
In championships, which are not won simply, they must grapple
40 minutes in hellishly hot sun.
If there is no winner after this time, fifteen minutes are
If there is still no difference, again, 15 minutes are added.
The game continues eternally until one crawls away on the grass,
or prays for forgiveness because he cannot go on.
|| As for the golden belt awarded to the winner it
is 1,450g -
14 karat Gold, worth 25,000 dollars.
Another prize is 100,000 dollars from the various sponsors.
And, "Actually more generous, no?", a local fan says.