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 olive oil is applied to every inch of the body and is designed to prevent your opponent getting any sort of grip as you grapple. To win, you need to flip your opponent on to his back. The wrestlers, known as pehlivan (meaning “hero” or “champion”) wear a type of hand-stitched lederhosen called a “kispet” (, which is traditionally made of water buffalo hide, and most recently has been made of calfskin.
No wonder why the gays are so into this sport, greased masculine men are wrestling of course. But infact, oil-wrestling has nothing to do with “gay culture” whatsoever. Turkish people have been usually remembered during thousands of years as a warrior nation on the lands which they conquered. The preparations for the war of Turkish army were mainly sports and wrestling. The origin of the Turkish wrestling is based on the era when the Hun Empire was established. At that time the wrestling was organized as “Karakucak”. After the Ottoman Empire passed to Rumelia, it started to be organized as greased wrestling without losing its self and soul and became an extant tradition.
Allthough, oil wrestling is not welcomed to be associated with the gay culture, it definetly attract gay audience. Especially the “bear lovers” come to Turkey for Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling. Traditionally, the Kirkpinar Wrestling is organized at the last week of June each year in Edirne (Northwest of Turkey).
Wonder about the dates of Turkish Oil Wrestling in 2014? Please click HERE for updated dates and locations!
Here’s the final match for last year
The mind-blowing pictures in our article is taken by the artist Ümit Ilgın Yiğit. By this occasion i want you to meet Ümit’s great art.
Ümit Ilgın Yiğit was born in İstanbul and he’s 34 years old. He was graduated from one of the respectful art schools in Turkey-Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. After that he made his masters degree of “design and print” in Moscow State University. He attended to some art exibitions and festivals in England, Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Iraq, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Germany, Holland, Azerbaican and China with his work. He’s a dashing underground artist of -not only-photography but also in performances, literature and painting.
Thanks to Ümit Ilgın Yiğit for this great pictures. For more works of Ümit, you can find and subscribe to his updates on Facebook.