Estimated Establishment Date of Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Tournament

According to some researcher, the history of Kirkpinar oil wrestling tournament dates back to 580 years ago. Sultan Murat I opened a dervish lodge for wrestlers among the science institutions established after the conquering and making Edirne the capital city of his rule. Information such as the names, working conditions, and training patterns of wrestlers, archers and javelin throwers of this dervish lodge can be found in the history of Edirne. As a remnant of this dervish lodge in Edirne, only its land and a small cemetery survived. Graves of the Sheikh of this dervish lodge for wrestlers and the lodge's prayer man, Cemaleddin were located in the small cemetery of this dervish lodge for wrestlers. Inscription on the tomb stone is as follows:

Send prayers for the wrestler Cemaleddin known as the praying man of wrestlers, the year 1200 Islamic Calendar.

 

As understood from the written year of 1200 according to Islamic Calendar, this dervish lodge for wrestlers was active until 180 years before today. Dervish lodges among institutions and initiatives serving civilization and science held an important place in Ottoman history and its organizational structure. For example, dervish lodge for helpless people recorded in the history was established as a hospital for the treatment of lepers. A doctor, a sheikh, the trustees and other persons having various duties carry the workload of this dervish lodge for lepers. Likewise, a dervish lodge for archers was established in the Okmeydani district of Istanbul. If we need to adapt these dervish lodges to today, we can call some of them as voluntary public institutions, and the rest as the clubs of their time. The sheikhs were the presidents of institutions. Dervish lodge for wrestlers in Edirne is one of them. We can call praying man Sheikh Cemaleddin of Edirne as an administrator and president of this dervish lodge for wrestlers according to today's standards.

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