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EDIRNE KIRKPINAR OIL WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP 2007
( 29 JUNE - 01 JULY 2007)
Edirne / TURKEY
 

Yagli Gures - 'Oil Wrestling' is the Turkish national sport and every year, in June and wrestling championships are held in Kirkpinar, outside Edirne.

For 630 years the celebrated Kirkpinar oil wrestling tournament has commenced with this chant. The master of the festival, known as the cazgir, recites a prayer for the wrestlers. Then the drums zurna (a wind instrument with a double reed) begin to play, hundreds of wrestlers bow in salute, and the first pairs lock in combat on the green meadow.

There are several versions of the story about how the Kirkpinar wrestling tournament began, the best known relating how Sultan Murad I's general Suleyman Pasa crossed the Dardanelles with a vanguard of forty warriors on two rafts, and commenced the march through Thrace. At every halt the men engaged in wrestling bouts as a way of forgetting the hardships of the journey. One day when they reached a meadow at Ahirkoy near Edirne they began wrestling as usual. As the sun set only two wrestlers remained, neither able to inflict defeat on the other. They continued to wrestle into the night until finally both collapsed and died of exhaustion. They were buried where they fell, and the next day a spring of crystal clear water appeared on the spot...

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Silk Road Hotels: Ishak Pasa Caddesi No: 6 Cankurtaran, Sultanahmet - Istanbul / Turkey
Tel: +90 212 527 68 59 Tel1: +90 212 638 12 15   Fax: 90 (212) 527 68 59 - 527 68 59  E-mail:  info@silkroadhotels.com