|Countries - Turkey - Yagli Güres
Yağlı güreş or Oil Wrestling in Turkey
Yağlı güreş is
considered as an "ancestral sport" in Turkey, represented foremost by the
annual Kırkpınar tournament in oil wrestling.
Along with various highly
esteemed styles of folk wrestling.
Oil wrestling (Turkish: yağlı güreş), also called grease wrestling, is the Turkish
national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive
oil. The term "güreş" is shared with other forms of wrestling
practiced by Turkic-speakers across Europe and Central
Asia, such as the Uzbek kurash, Tuvan khuresh and Tatar köräş. The
wrestlers, known as pehlivan (Persian: پهلوان meaning "hero" or "champion") wear a type of
hand-stitched lederhosen called a kisbet (sometimes kispet), which is traditionally
made of water buffalo hide, and most recently has been made of calfskin.
Unlike Olympic wrestling, oil
wrestling matches may be won by achieving an effective hold of the kisbet.
Thus, the pehlivan aims to control his opponent by putting his arm through the
latter's kisbet. To win by this move is called paça kazık. Originally,
matches had no set duration and could go on for one or two days until one man
was able to establish his superiority, but in 1975 the duration was capped at
40 minutes for the baspehlivan and 30 minutes for the pehlivan category. If there is no winner, play
continues for another 15 minutes—10 minutes for the pehlivan category, wherein
scores are kept to determine the victor.
The annual Kırkpınar tournament,
held in Edirne
in Turkish Thrace since 1362, is the oldest continuously running, sanctioned
sporting competition in the world. Oil wrestling festivals also take place in northern Greece in the Eastern Macedonia and West Thrace
(Rhodope Mountains) In recent years, this style of wrestling
has also become popular in other countries, particularly the Netherlands and Japan.
05 / 2015