8 Things to Know About Oil Wrestling, Turkey’s National Game

8 Things to Know About Oil Wrestling

Oil wrestling is one of the first sports in Turkey with a historic festival that held yearly since 1346. Doused in oil, male boxers from young novices to trained professionals fight it out for matches that can last for 60 minutes. We’ve smoothed up some of the most exciting facts about yagi gureş.

Therefore, the pelican aims to control his adversary by putting his arm through the latter’s kisbet. To win by this change is called pace Kazak. In the beginning, matches had no set period and could go on for one or two days until one man was able to start his advantage, but in 1975 the duration was covered at 40 minutes for the clarification required, and 30 minutes for the pelican class.

History of Oil Wrestling:

Oil wrestling goes back to the early peoples of Sumer and Babylon in addition to Greco-Roman civilizations.

Turkish wrestlers ongoing covering themselves according to Islamic law after the 10th century. The Turkish word for wrestling can be drawn back to the old Oghuz Turkic tongues, which originate from the Eurasian grasslands, where wrestling has also been skillful.

After the defeat of Anatolia by Seljuk Turks, a form of old freestyle wrestling called Ground hug was promoted, where special skin clothing was authorized and wrestlers began the activity by torrential olive oil on their bodies in order to make it harder for the wrestler grip one’s adversary.

This form nonstop to what is today known as Turkish oil wrestling. In the Divan Empire, wrestlers academic the art in special schools called tekke, which was not only athletic Centre but also mystical Centre. Wrestlers oil one another past to match as a protest of balance and mutual admiration. If a man overthrows an older opponent, he lights contact the latter’s hand.

Additional Information:

On this sign and the official funding legend of this wrestling tournament, see Krawietz, ‘Large Bodies That Matter’. My individual findings associated with field research visits to Turkey that started in 2009 and 2010 in the outline of the joint Zendrum Moderner Orient project on;

“A Challenge b/w Worlds of Sport: Challenging Patterns of Order and Forms of Symbol in Body Values in Africa and Asia”

I thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the large funding of the project at that time besides the ZUMO that is presenting it through 2014. Further obligated to the Berlin doctoral student Yetis Akdemir for his well-educated help.

Legendary Roots:

In 2001, the wrestling event in Kirkpinar documented by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s first sports competition. The Kirkpinar tournament held yearly since the mid-14th century, which would make it numerous centuries older than the modern Olympic Games. Thousands of armed forces gather each year to contest for the title.


The thing of oil wrestling is to get your challenger in a position where his middle button faces the sky, at which point he misses the game.

The Traditional Suit:

Oil wrestlers wear skin pants called a kisbet, which made from water buffalo skin and weighs about 14 kilos.

The Oil

The oil makes things reasonable, as it’s not about the size or strong point of the wrestler. But the method since both has the difficulty of being doused in greasy oil.

Oil’s History

Another concept states that the oil was useful to the skin to ward off mosquitoes. And when wrestlers began to do the same, the preparation stuck and became ‘oil wrestling.’


The most significant oil wrestling festival takes place every year since 1346 in Edirne and called Kirkpinar.

The Winner

The winner of the Kirkpinar festival wins a decorative golden belt. As well as around 100,000$ and becomes the winner of Turkey, known as Baspehlivan in Turkish.


Every boxer with an old-style upbringing has a beginner whom he trains in order to take over when he gives up work and continue the custom.


Until 1975, wrestling games didn’t have time bounds and could go on for hours, every so often days. Thus, a time limit of 40 min set. With a 7 min finish to count up final scores in direction to end matches that exceed the 40-minute timeframe.

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