"Ruthless" Alico: Kel (Bald) Alico:

Sultan Abdul Aziz held a wrestling match with Alico. Alico came to a point to defeat Sultan Abdul Aziz, but withheld himself from making the last move to defeat Sultan Abdul Aziz. Upon Alico's this behavior, the Ottoman Sultan asked him the reason for withholding himself from defeating the Sultan. Alico answered, "You are facing many states as their opponent. They are not able to defeat you, so how can I defeat you".

 

Kel Alico

The most important representative of wrestlers in Turkish history. Alico, who became the head wrestler of Kirkpinar for 27 years in a row, was born in Lovech town of Bulgaria in 1844. His passed his childhood in this town. The great wrestler Alico started wrestling in Bulgaria. His aunt was very interested in wrestling. She wanted to Alico to become a wrestler, so she gave him utmost care in this direction. Alico was constantly wrestling with his friends, and defeating them in every occasion. Sometimes, two of his friends were wrestling together against Alico, but they still couldn't defeat Alico.

Kel Alico was becoming stronger day by day through the care of fresh air provided by his hometown's green forests. At that time in Bulgaria, it was a custom among young people to make wrestling matches in weddings. Alico was participating in these wrestling matches and defeating his opponents.

Kel Alico moved to Turkey from Bulgaria after the war of 93 with his brother Kara Ibo. His brother Kara Ibo was not a wrestler. Alico's fame was spreading among people. His fame came to the ear of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Aziz, who was a wrestler himself. Sultan Abdul Aziz held a wrestling match with Alico. Alico came to a point to defeat Sultan Abdul Aziz, but withheld himself from making the last move to defeat Sultan Abdul Aziz. Upon Alico's this behavior, the Ottoman Sultan asked him the reason for withholding himself from defeating the Sultan. Alico answered, "You are facing many states as their opponent. They are not able to defeat you, so how can I defeat you". The Sultan liked the answer of Alico and rewarded Alico with 15 gold. The sultan also took Alico to the palace as a "palace wrestler".

 

The fame of Alico who was raised to the position of palace wrestler during the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Aziz (1861-1876) spread all over the country.
Kel Alico became the most favorite wrestler of Sultan Abdul Aziz after being taken into the palace. Kel Alico became the head wrestler for 27 years in a row in Kirkpinar, which is a tough record to break, until quitting wrestling in 1894.

He was nicknamed Kel Alico for being bald and also nicknamed Ruthless Alico for his relentless attacks in wrestling.

Kel Alico became blind in the last years of his life. His nephew, Ibrahim guided him around.

Being a wrestler with a huge reputation, Alico was infected with Typhoid fever and died in 1922. His grave is in Koyundere village (Alico Pehlivan Village) of Ipsala town of Edirne province. On the land Where Kel Alico's house was located, a school with the name of Koyundere Alico primary school was built. This school still continues its education activities.

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