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PHOTOS: Turkish Oil Wrestling

PHOTOS: Turkish Oil Wrestling

Ready to book that flight to Istanbul?

America's national sport involves middle-aged, sometimes overweight, men standing around a diamond. Turkey's, on the other hand, involves powerful beefcakes wrestling each other to the ground while slicked with oil.

The tradition of Turkish oil wrestling began in 1640 when men and boys competed on a grassy field near Erdine, the one-time capital of the Ottoman Empire. The sport is called Kirkpinar in Turkish, meaning "Forty Springs," which honors an old wrestling legend. The men compete shirtless and wear black leather trunks that replicate those worn by the ancient bodyguards of sultans. The three-day event is capped by the Turkish president crowning the champions. The pictures are beautiful enough — imagine seeing it in person?
























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