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.”
Turkey's 52nd airport, built on an artificial island along the seashore of Ordu, will be opened by President Erdogan and PM Davutoglu Friday afternoon
Turkish prime minister says suspect in twin attacks on opposition offices had been member of Marxist group
This year, arrangements have been made to hold the art competition in Konya
International training on electricity distribution provided to developing nations
Greece's culture minister Nikos Xydakis has said that both Greece and Turkey must protect their cultural heritage.
Thursday’s dailies covered claims by the prime minister of an opposition 'tacit agreement' against his ruling AK Party.
Project marks Turkey's expansion into international space industry
Cüneyt Yıldız, the district mayor of Gürsu, was taken to Bursa Şevket Yılmaz Training and Research Hospital
Erdogan speaks at joint press conference in Sarajevo with Mladen Ivanic, chairman of three-man Bosnian Presidency.
Staffan de Mistura to meet National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at unspecified date.
Wednesday’s dailies focused on celebrations of the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day across Turkey
Turkey has appointed Mehmet Akarca as new Supreme Court of Appeals.
Blasts have been heard at a Kurdish party office in the Turkish city of Adana, injuring two people.
Turkey's presidential spokesman says it is important for death penalty decisions to be rejected by international organizations.
The Turkish Presidential spokesman has said that the Middle East will descend into chaos if ex President Mohammed Morsi is executed.
Monday’s dailies mainly covered Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's major election meeting in Istanbul