You know "The Trojan Horse" legend which was portrayed in Homer's epic.  There is a replica horse about 13 meters high in Troy, to the southwest of Istanbul.  And there is another replica horse, which is approximately the same size as Troy's, on a hill within a bird's-eye view of the Sea of Japan.
  In Niigata Prefecture, Kashiwazaki City, in Japan, "Kashiwazaki Turkish Culture Village" is the first theme park in the world that is dedicated to Turkish culture.
  The Turkish national sport, "Yagli Gures"( Oil wrestling ), was first held in Japan, at this place in the spring in 2004.
Welcome to Japan
  Nine people that came all the way from Turkey consisted of, four wiry wrestlers, the introducer, the judge, a flute and drum corps, and the promotion president of Oil wrestling.  In other words, the whole experience of the Turkish national sport.
  The wrestlers were, Yasar Kale, Europe's champion in 99 and 2000.  Murat, the runner-up in the world championships in 2000, and the third ranking of Mukkerem.  And then there is Kenan Simsek, the world champion of 2003.  An uncompromising group of great wrestlers.
  The first performance started at 11 am on April 29th.
  First was an explanation of the history of Yagli Gures by the introducer (the interpreter was a Turkish ice cream salesman), the releasing of a rally schedule in Turkey, then the wrestlers dripped olive oil on their whole bodies and began to march, which the flute and drum corps played to.  A storm of applause in the place would have been appropriate, but there were very few visitors because it was the first performance in the golden premiere week.
  Actually, I was not expecting much from this event until I saw a game.  This was because introducing the Turkish national sport called Yagli Gures to Japan was the main purpose. So, since the explanation of the game and the historic background was most important, I thought the wrestlers would not fight intensely.
  This was incorrect.  When the first fight began, spectators were overwhelmed by the ferocity. The wrestlers grappled suddenly with all their power, and one of the huge figures, who exceeded 220 pounds, was reverse dropped from the height of the head.  I become anxious that it might not be possible to continue such heated performances for the period of one week if they fight with their full strength from the premiere on.
  There was a reason in this.
  For them, visiting Japan at this time was a sort of training camp for the upcoming European rally, and also the world championships in June.  They had their breakfast, and supper, with fresh juices and some banana, and skipped lunch at the Turkish food restaurant in the cultural village.  They also were running up and down around the stadium after the theme park was closed at night, for exercise.
  In 7 days, there were two matches in each performance, and two performances a day. The 2003 champion, Kenan, won most of the games fought almost 25, just like an actual competition.  The whole time, using the opportunity as training for the upcoming competition for the Gold belt.
Dangerous sport
  Actually, Yagli Gures is a considerably dangerous sport.
  The wrestlers grapple with the power of the whole body to catch the oiled partner. Sometimes this causes damage when an elbow slips past the oiled shoulder. You can see the ears of the wrestlers look like big Chinese dumplings, and the hole in ear is almost blocked off if you look at the photographs carefully. Sometimes a finger slides into an eye. When an opponent changes position abruptly, an arm deep in the skin trousers can be dislocated at the wrist, or shoulder. Also, if a fight is prolonged, oil can blind by flowing into the eyes.
  Time may be allowed to wipe oil the from eyes.  But it is not uncommon for the wrestler to continue to fight with his eyes closed, so that his opponent does not have time to recover.

There are three ways to decide the winner.

1. Lifting a partner's body by the head.
2. Forcing a partner's back to the ground.
3. The partner declaring that he is defeated.

  Often, a match will continue until a wrestler looses the spirit to fight, or the stamina to lift a 220 pound man by his head ( like Ahmet Tasci, the king of Turkish Greased Wrestling ).  Most victories are decided by the second case.

Hard to watch
  The spectators who visited the center dome in the Turkish Culture Village might have been overwhelmed by foreign events they saw for the first time.  The reactions were varied, such as a person staring vacantly with his mouth wide open, a loving couple secretly joking about it, and a woman who was too shy to look straight at it.
  The reason is clear.
  They cannot guess why the wrestlers insert their arms in the black skin trousers (Kispet) of their opponents, and then grasp in the crotch.  If you asked the wrestlers why they do it, they would answer "Because the oil slips, there is no place to catch hold, except there."  Because this seems to cause confusion, I have decided to explain.
  The wrestler cannot depend on friction for grasping a partner's body in this event because of the oil covering them.  The frictional coefficient of the oil, warmed up at body, is near to zero. So, it is almost impossible to catch hold of the body or limbs.
  So the only way to grasp is inside of the "Kispet".
  There are mainly two places inside of the kispet to grasp.

1. Wrinkles of the kispet which occurs at the bottom of the thigh when stooped.
2. Wrinkles of the kispet which occurs at the back of the knee when kneeling.

  The wrestlers read their opponents position changes, catch the wrinkles occurring inside of the kispet immediately, and lift or throw. Because the kispet is completely smooth, it does not hurt the skin, but the inside of the kispet cannot be grasped if wrinkles are not made. If there are no wrinkles inside of the kispet, a skilled wrestler can leverage and lift with all his strength by clenching his fist while his arm is deeply inserted in the kispet.
  This technique of using the kispet may be compared to using the lapels for grasping, and leverage in judo.

The Japanese National Womens Wrestling Team
  During the second day of performances, the Japanese National Womens Wrestling team, who aim to compete in all four classes at the Athens Olympics, visited the Turkish Culture Village to watch Yagli Gures.
  In August, the Olympics will be hosted in Athens Greece, where daytime temperatures can exceed 40C, and the wrestlers may become soaked with sweat if the air conditioning is not sufficient.  They had an idea to observe Turkish oiled wrestling because it would be similar to competing while sweating a great deal.
  Will these Olympic athletes, having been initiated into the 650 year old secrets of Yagli Gures, be able to win medals in Athens?
  At the performances in Japan, the event was held in an air-conditioned dome.  Traditionally, Yagli Gures is done on the grasslands during the summer.  The oil poured on the body acts as 'suntan oil', protecting the skin while under the burning midsummer sun.
  The olive oil, which is made in Turkey, is famous for it's high purity.  If you were to buy this oil at the store, it is five dollars for the small 250 cc bottle, which are the ones called 'extra-virgin'.
  Approximately 100 liters of oil are used each day at the World championships of Yagli Gures held in Edirne Turkey.  The grass is fresh and blue on the ground inside the stadium, because of the olive oil and the sweat of wrestlers, even if it is midwinter.

Pictures of the event
May, 2004