Feedback
News
gallery

Oiled Up: Turkish Wrestlers Compete in Ancient Tradition

Every year since 1357, Turkey's best wrestlers gather for the traditional Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival near the Ottoman capital city of Edirne.

. Every year since 1357, Turkey's best wrestlers - men and boys - gather for the traditional Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival in a grassy field near the Ottoman capital city of Edirne. All wrestlers wear special thick leather trousers called "kispet," and cover themselves with olive oil to make it harder for their opponent to get sufficient grip during the fight.

In the photo above, two wrestlers compete during the national wrestling championships in Edirne, on June 20, 2014. Erden Sahin / EPA

. Turkish wrestlers, or pehlivans in Turkish, grapple during the traditional Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival in Edirne. Erden Sahin / EPA

. Turkish oil-wrestlers pour olive oil on another competitor as they prepare for a match, on June 20. Erden Sahin / EPA

. Wrestlers compete in the traditional Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival on June 20. Erden Sahin / EPA

. A referee watches closely as two oil wrestlers grapple in the grass. Erden Sahin / EPA

. A wrestler washes his face to remove the olive oil in Edirne, Turkey. Erden Sahin / EPA