You are currently viewing TURKISH OIL WRESTLING SPORT


Oil wrestling is one of the most popular sports in Turkey. Historical oil wrestling, also called grease wrestling, is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil.


Oil wrestling is the Turkish national sport, a competitive wrestling tournament, made more difficult by the fact that the combatants are smothered in oil. The competitors wear traditional black costumes and the event is held every year.


The wrestlers wear tight short leather trousers called as Kispet in Turkish, made of water buffalo leather weighing approximately 13 kg, and they cover themselves with olive oil. There is only one wrestling tournament in the world where contestants slather themselves with olive oil before entering the grassy ring.


Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling is recognised as part of the of UNESCO Cultural Heritage and is one of the oldest sport manifestations in the world which has been continuing since 1357 in Rumelia.

Wrestlers fight for the Kirkpinar Golden Belt and the title of Chief Pehlivan. Called the Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling tournament, the ancient grappling fest took place on June 27 outside of the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne.

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling, which has been bounded with a tradition of almost 650 years, hosts contests for a week with the active participation of the media, artists and personalities from Turkey and from all over the world, milions of spectators and with a varying array of activities every year.

Head wrestling and other forms of wrestling contests generate great enthusiasm.