Recep Kara overpowered his opponent Mehmet Y. Yeşil to win the 655th annual Kirkipinar olive oil wrestling tournament today in Edirne’s Kirkipinar region amid Turkey’s political turmoil.
In the opening speech of the famous annual tournament, which is followed closely by people in Turkey, Musa Aydin, the president of the Wrestling Federation remarked that Kirkpinar “shall take place as long as the Turkish nation stands.” Numerous references were made alluding to the political situation in Turkey during the tournament by viewers, comments of the contestants and the organizers.
Throughout the tournament, nationalistic political slogans in support of “the heroic Turkish police” and “the great Turkish nation” were observed.
The final round of the olive oil wrestling tournament was concluded today with Recep Kara overpowering his opponent Mehmet Y. Yeşil.
Here’s the final match’s footage:
Kara became a four-time winner of the Kirkipinar wrestling tournament. The first time was in 2004, when he became the youngest (22) to win in the history of the competition. The golden belt is a symbolic award that remains in the possession of the winner for the following year.
Kara once again earned the title “başpehlivan,” or “head of the pehlivans,” as the winner is known. The title originated from the Persian word pahlavān meaning a warrior or brave person, and is attributed to the wrestler who wins the tournament. Recep Kara also received the first place purse of 40,000 Turkish Liras ($13,050).
Now, enjoy the pics of the champion: