Camels wrestle in traditional Turkish event

Camels wrestle in traditional Turkish event

2019/01/25 | 14:15 - Source: Baghdad Post

(ThisDay | Iraq News Now)- Braveheart, Crazy Hasan, The Conqueror and Black Diamond

were among the furry, hump-backed contestants in this year’s annual sporting

showdown in Turkey: camel wrestling.Thousands of spectators gathered in the Aegean town of

Selcuk to watch the event, a tradition that dates back 2,400 years, according

to AP.

While smaller festivals are held across the country during the winter

months — traditionally camel mating season — the one in Selcuk, just a few

miles from the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, is the largest and most


The 37th installment of the competition brought together about 120

camels and their proud owners, many of whom adorned their animals with the

red-and-white Turkish flag.The pouty-lipped competitors weigh in at an average of 600

kilograms (1,300 pounds) and are decorated with multicolored pompoms and ornate


With their humps hidden under embroidered saddles, the wrestlers

strut into the arena two at a time and duke it out, generally within short

distance of a female camel in heat.Each battle ends within minutes, often to thunderous

cheering from the crowds.

A victor is declared when one of the camels falls to

the ground or runs out of the field.

Most matches, however, end in a draw

because owners fear their prized animals could be harmed during the rough

sparring.The festival is also more than just wrestling.

The day

before the competition, the bedecked camels are paraded through town in a

beauty pageant.

During the main event, musicians perform traditional folk songs

and families barbecue in the hills overlooking the arena, feasting on meat and

sausage washed down by raki, Turkey’s traditional anise alcoholic beverage.

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