TURKISH WRESTLING

OUTDOOR ON THE GRASS, WITH KISPET (LEATHER TRUNKS), AND WITH ITS OWN RULES, WITH OR WITHOUT OIL

Oil wrestling (Turkish: yağlı güreş) is the Turkish national sport. It is known sometimes as grease wrestling because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil. It is related to Uzbek kurash, Tuvan khuresh and to Tatar köräş. The wrestlers, known as pehlivan (from Persian پهلوان or pehlevān, meaning "hero" or "champion") wear a type of hand-stitched lederhosen called kisbet (sometimes kispet), which were traditionally made of water buffalo hide, but now also of calfskin.

Unlike Olympic wrestling, oil wrestling matches may be won by achieving an effective hold of the kisbet. Thus, the pehlivan aims to control his opponent by putting his arm through the latter's kisbet. To win by this move is called paça kazık. Originally, matches had no set duration and could go on for one or two days, until one man was able to establish superiority, but in 1975 the duration was capped at 40 minutes for the baspehlivan and 30 minutes for the pehlivan category. If no winner is determined, another 15 minutes—10 minutes for the pehlivan category—of wrestling ensues, wherein scores are kept to determine the victor.

Karakucak or karakucak güreşi is one of the two Turkish folk wrestling styles practised nationwide and sanctioned by the Turkish Wrestling Federation.Like all other Turkish folk wrestling styles, karakucak competitions are held on grass fields. Competitors wear baggy trousers (şalvar) or special trousers named pırpıt made of canvas or other similarly sturdy fabric. Oiling the bodies and/or garments is strictly prohibited. Karakucak rules resemble oil wrestling and freestyle wrestling rules.

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