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Edirne Travel Guide

Sports in Edirne

Edirne is home of one of the Turkish national sports Oil Wrestling (Yagli gures in Turkish). For 650 years Edirne homes the “Kirkpinar Oil Wresting” in the Island of Kirkpinar in June or July of every year, the festival continue for a week.

Oil Wresting
Edirne every year during the June or July months held the Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling festival, where over than 1000 participants compete for the title of “Champion of Turkey” and the prizes given by the sponsors.

This old sport dates back to the 1065 BC in the Persian, but came to Turkey in the Ottoman times. The history of the Yagli Gures begins when the Ottoman Sultan Orhan Gazi, his brother Suleyman Pasha and 40 warriors captured the Thrace region and the camped where today is known as Kirkpinar, the 40 warriors started to wrestling until two left, both of them wrestled until midnight but neither of them was the victor and continued fighting until finally the effort caused that these last two men died. Their army friend buried them under a fig tree and continued the raids towards Edirne. Years later the same soldiers that buried to their comrades come back to that place where they fought and noticed that several springs had sprung up on that place, so they called Kirkpinar that means forty springs. Later they started to organize oil wrestling contest and it became a traditional sport event in Edirne.

The competitors wearing leather trousers with a weight of 13Kg and completely bathed with olive oil fight in pairs try to demonstrate their superiority until there is only one wrestler left standing. The winner gains cash and receives the 'Baspehlivan' of the Year award.

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