World Bulletin / News Desk
The 651st traditional Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling and Cultural Activities Festival officially began on Friday with a parade through Edirne.
The longest continuously held sporting competition in the world kicked off in the northwestern province of Edirne with a celebratory march led by Edirne Mayor Hamdi Sedefçi and this year’s sponsor, Seyfettin Selim.
Following these two men were athletes, representatives from civil society organizations, sponsors from years past and musicians playing traditional drums and pipes. Last year’s winner of the title of chief wrestler, Ali Gürbüz, carried the Turkish flag in the parade. The group proceeded from the city center to the Talatpaşa motorway.
Before the procession began, Sedefçi met Selim to present him with flowers and the Golden Belt that will be awarded, along with the title of chief wrestler, to the winner of this weekend’s competition.
This year, 1,248 wrestlers of various weight classes arrived in Edirne to compete at a stadium in Sarayiçi Er Meydanı in the northwest of the city.
After the procession, the ceremony continued in the Pehlivan Cemetery at Selimiye Mosque, where Edirne mufti (religious leader) Ömer Taşçıoğlu recited the prayer traditionally offered before the competition.
The first day of the festival brought out the youngest wrestlers, who competed in the junior and encouragement rounds. These lower categories are typically composed of younger, smaller wrestlers, as young as 12. The young athletes are put into categories by the judges with respect to their size, age and wrestling history.
The competition will conclude with the announcement of the chief wrestler and an awards ceremony on Sunday.
Kırkpınar’s fame has been spreading to the rest of the world. In 2010, UNESCO added the Kırkpınar festival to its Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list. The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage describes items on the list as providing generations “with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.”
The programme put emphasis on a strong economy, envisaging a monetary policy which stepped up the struggle against inflation but also supported growth and employment
Erdogan and Davutoglu, who was appointed prime minister last week, have both made clear that their efforts to curb Gulen's influence will continue in their new roles
Amasya MP Mehmet Naci Bostanci is elected ruling AK Party's new parliamentary group deputy chairman.
Turkish Aerospace Industries will deliver last four of modernized F-16 fighters to Pakistan on Tuesday.
Turkey's President Erdogan made his first foreign visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as president on Monday.
Ali Babacan will retain overall responsibility for the economy in the new cabinet, government spokesman Bulent Arinc said
Monday's newspapers cover German weekly Der Spiegel’s claims on foreign spying on Turkey, Turkish intelligence service’s purchase of a lie detector and ongoing construction works of Turkey’s Eurasia Tunnel Project.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will discuss the issue of spying claims on Turjey with American and German leaders at the upcoming NATO summit and U.N. general assembly.
More than 30 police officials are sought in connection with alleged illegal wiretapping in Istanbul and other cities across Turkey.
These revelations come just one week after it was revealed that Germany had also been spying on fellow NATO-member Turkey.
Erdogan's first week as president will see him visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan and attend a NATO Summit in Wales.
Ali Babacan, and more recently Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, have been part of a well-respected economics team that has helped steer Turkey through a decade of growth and stability.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Assad's "divisive" administration in Syria has given rise to the Sunni militant group, Islamic State
Turkey's Foreign Ministry says concerned of Russian activity in Ukraine's east, calls on parties to act in common sense
Twenty-thousand Turkish vessels will set sail on Monday as the country's fishing season starts in earnest.
International credit rating agency Moody's downgrades long-term deposit rating of Bank Asya citing deteriorating fundamentals and deposit volatility