In Er Meydanı cultural heritage of human being, the traditional Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling and Cultural Events have been sustained for centuries. The 657th ‘Edirne Traditional Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling and Cultural Events’ was held from July 9 to 15.
‘Don’t be pleased if you rise above, don’t feel sad if you fall below …’. This is the main philosophy of the event. We would like to ask you. Can’t it be one of the heritages that the ancestors of the human being left seven centuries ago to the concept and philosophy of Fair Play in the modern society?
‘DON’T BE PLEASED IF YOU RISE ABOVE, DON’T FEEL SAD IF YOU FALL BELOW’
Prof. Dr. İlhan Toksöz
Director of Trakya University Kırkpınar Values Research and Application Center, T.R.
INTRODUCTION : The Wrestling sport, the main source of Oil Wrestling and Kırkpınar, is a heritage available almost 7000 years in the sport culture of human being. This situation is confirmed by various sources, too. Many various and different applications of this sport cultural heritage are available in the earth.
AIM: The Wrestling sport has been applied by means of enriching with different patterns, rituals and styles in various geographies for thousands of years. It is known that the differences in this application have been affected comprehensively and shaped due to human lives, social structure, beliefs, environment as well as historical and cultural richness of people. However, it is accepted commonly that the foundation of this sport is a type of show of strength. Our aim is limited to contribution to revealing of this activation and phenomenon.
METHOD: Traditional Kırkpınar which is regarded as the symbol of the cultural flow of the Turks from Asia(Anatolia) to Europa (Rumelia ) is an organization affected from cultural depth of wrestling and the Oil Wrestling, composing the main structure of wrestling, has the characteristics of a cultural and living organism still being affected. Our studies are limited to observation of Edirne, the city (area) where this living organism is still sustained to survive.
CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: As it is known, there are some characateristics that distinguish traditional oil wrestling from other types of wrestling (free style and greco-romen style,etc.): first of all, this sport was done by means of putting oil on the whole body (virgin olive oil) and wearing kıspet (clothing produced from natural animal skin-worn by means of tying from the waist level to under the knee) and the competition continued until one wrestler was defeated. On the other hand, it is possible to assert that Islamic beliefs of the Turks affected the style and sizes of this cloth, the wrestlers were warmed up for the competition and also introduced to the spectators by the authentic drum-horn staff by means of the verses called mani sung by the ‘cazgır’ (announcer) and this tradition has continued and survived for centuries and has been equipped with deep cultural elements. Of course, this topic will be discussed comprehensively.
Nowadays, ‘Edirne Traditional Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling and Cultural Events’ is in an appearance of an organization held 657th times on July(9-15), 2018. This organization is listed on ‘UNESCO(2010) Intangible Cultural Heritage’ list, so, it can be asserted that this situation assigns great responsibilities for preserving and transferring this traditional and long-established heritage belonging to the sport culture living in this city to the next generations.
It can be accepted that the main philosophical statement of this organization is as ‘Don’t be pleased if you rise above, don’t feel sad if you fall below *, and Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling Events have been organised 657th times this year, and it was characterised by a record participation of two thousand two hundred twenty seven wrestlers(pehlivans) in total fourteen categories**(Appendix:1).
This year, Kırkpınar Oil wrestling events started by the competitions of the Junior categories (Minik weights) in Sarayiçi Er Meydanı (Wrestling field) in Edirne and also 57 chief wrestler candidates competed for winning the Golden belt (given to the champion of Kırkpınar for one year and will belong to himself on condition that winning the championship in Kırkpınar three years in a row). While the competitions in all categories including Chief Wrestlership were breathtaking in fact, Orhan Okulu, the finalist of 2017, qualified to the final this year, too; he defeated Şaban Yılmaz and won the ownership of the Golden belt (throughout one year).
One of the main souls of the heritage, ‘Traditional Drum-Horn Staff’ carry out a significant duty on sustaining this tradition with its forty-one-member musician staff(video).
Many writers state that amazing rituals and applications experienced in ‘Edirne Sarayiçi Er Meydanı’ of this heritage awaken missing on people experience them by themselves on calling / inviting coming here again when they return to the cities and countries they live in, and this missing also takes place on poetic statements.
Consequently, let’s try to complete with salawat, an anonymous verbal heritage element being appeared by the Announcers (Cazgırlar) who are regarded as ‘people possessing the features of Masters’ from Er Meydanı (Wrestling Area) where specific sport cultural heritage of human being, Traditional Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling and Cultural Events have been sustained for centuries:
‘Don’t be pleased if you rise above, don’t feel sad if you fall below …’.
We would like to ask you. Can’t it be one of the heritages that the ancestors of the human being left seven centuries ago to the concept and philosophy of Fair Play mentioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the last seventy years?
Key Words: Wrestling, Kırkpınar, Sport Culture, Edirne, Tradition
*:expression of sustaining of the competition between two wrestlers within fair play in a poetic statement.
**:Categories: There are 14 categories in total. Beginning from the youngest age (and the lightest weight) respectively; ‘Minik 1 (11 age, 45 kg.) ,Minik 2 (12 age, 50 kg.), Teşvik 1 (13-14 age, 55 kg.) , Teşvik 2 (15-16 age, 65 kg.), Tozkoparan (16-17 age, 75 kg.), Ayak (17-18 age, 80 kg.), Deste1 (Küçük) (18-19 age, max. 80-85 kg.), Deste2 (Orta) (19-20 age, 88-90 kg.), Deste3 (Büyük) (older than 20-21 age, max. 90-95 kg.), Küçük Orta Küçük Boy, Küçük Orta Büyük Boy, Büyük Orta, Başaltı, Baş Pehlivan (Chief Wrestler).
1. Toksöz İ.(2017)’ UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE-TRADITIONAL KIRKPINAR OIL WRESTLING AND CULTURAL EVENTS’(Keynote Speeker)International Turkish FolksTraditional Sports-Games Symposium,December Pp.15,Kahramanmaraş/Turkey
2.Toksöz İ.,(2017) (Keynote Speeker) ‘EDİRNE KIRKPINAR: SITUATION ANALYSIS IN THE CITY OF LONG-ESTABLISHED TRADITION - 2017 ’ The International Balkan Conference in Sport Sciences,Pp.709,21 – 23 May, Bursa / TURKEY (http://uludagbalkansporbilimleri.org/tr/bildiri_kitabi.pdf:Erişim:10/08/2018)
3.Toksöz İ. , Photo :Fırat K.Günalan B., ‘A City of Tradition :Köklü Geleneğin Şehri’ Sky Life 6/2010,Pp 88-101 THY/TURKEY (https://issuu.com/skylifemagazine/docs/06-2010/14Erişim:10/08/2018)
※ This writing does not reflect the opinon of UNESCO ICM and UNESCO ICM is not directly linked to this writing.