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Oily Wrestlers Face Off in Centuries-Old Turkish Sport

There is only one wrestling tournament in the world where contestants slather themselves with olive oil before entering the grassy ring. Called the Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling tournament, the ancient grappling fest took place on June 27 outside of the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne.

While the tradition dates back almost 650 years and the Ottoman Empire, the rules have changed little. Drench yourself in olive oil - three tons are consumed at each year's tournament - and fight hard to win the respect of your countrymen. The greased, muscular winner of this year's tournament was 24-year-old Mehmet Yesilyesil, who successfully defended his title.

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Nichole Sobecki is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul.

Oily Wrestlers Face Off in Centuries-Old Turkish Sport

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