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Turkey: Greased-up giants enter the arena01:11

Turkey: Greased-up giants enter the arena

Turkey, Erdine
July 6, 2013 at 09:13 GMT +00:00 · Published

Turkey: Greased-up giants enter the arena

It was time for the heavyweights on Saturday at the 652nd Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival in Edirne, Turkey. The oil wrestlers, known as 'pehlivan' received a warm welcome from the audience, most notably last year's champion Ali Gürbüz, who was given standing ovations after winning his first fight of the tournament. The fights will continue into the late evening hours with the grand finale of the taking place on Sunday, with Friday and Saturday's competition mostly youth related.

The festival is located in Sarayiçi, Edirne, which is actually an island and today it is home to a stadium that hosts Kirkpinar.

Oil wrestling is a popular national sport in Turkey, with competitions being held across the country on a regular basis. However, Kirkpinar is the oldest continuously running oil wrestling competition, believed to have begun in the mid-14th Century. The Kirkpinar tournament also called 'the mother of all sports' since it holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running sports competition.

Turkey: Greased-up giants enter the arena01:11
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Turkey: Greased-up giants enter the arena

It was time for the heavyweights on Saturday at the 652nd Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival in Edirne, Turkey. The oil wrestlers, known as 'pehlivan' received a warm welcome from the audience, most notably last year's champion Ali Gürbüz, who was given standing ovations after winning his first fight of the tournament. The fights will continue into the late evening hours with the grand finale of the taking place on Sunday, with Friday and Saturday's competition mostly youth related.

The festival is located in Sarayiçi, Edirne, which is actually an island and today it is home to a stadium that hosts Kirkpinar.

Oil wrestling is a popular national sport in Turkey, with competitions being held across the country on a regular basis. However, Kirkpinar is the oldest continuously running oil wrestling competition, believed to have begun in the mid-14th Century. The Kirkpinar tournament also called 'the mother of all sports' since it holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running sports competition.

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