Photography by Jim Mavro (visit his Flickr page here). Kirkpinar, the annual "world series" of Turkish oil-wrestling, has been around since the 14th Century and the summer event that takes place in Edirne, Turkey, now holds a Guinness World Record for the longest running sports competition.
But mostly foreigneres ogle all the bare flesh and groping.
Before matches begin, the pehlivans (“wrestlers” or “heroes”) oil their bodies with a mixture of olive oil and water, which is one of the reasons people are often so thrilled by the images of the wrestling matches. The goal is to get a hold on your opponent’s kisbet, or specially made pants. And everyone is very slippery. The level of physical comfort the men have when not wrestling can be shocking to many people—gay or straight—and even seem inspirational. Take a look and judge for yourselves.