Field of Contest for Brave Men: Kirkpinar

You can say either a lasting tradition, or the sports of our ancestors… Kirkpinar is the place where the Turk’s bravery has been written, where his courage has been told and where his power has been shown to the whole world for centuries…


The marks on the history which Turkish people left show themselves in their works of art, culture, social life and customs.
Turkish people have been usually remembered during thousands of years as a warrior nation on the lands which they conquered. The preparations for the war of Turkish army were mainly sports and wrestling. The origin of the Turkish wrestling is based on the era when the Hun Empire was established. At that time the wrestling was organized as “Karakucak”. After the Ottoman Empire passed to Rumelia, it started to be organized as greased wrestling without losing its self and soul and became an extant tradition.


The Rise of Kirkpinar Wrestling

There are many stories about the rise of the historical Kirkpinar Wrestling. The most common of them is shortly like that:

During the wartimes which Orhan Gazi organized to conquer Rumelia in 1346, his brother Süleyman Pasha with 40 soldiers walked upon Domuzhisar belonging to Byzantines. They conquered there by raiding. After conquering other castles, the scout with 40 people returned and stopped for a rest in Samona which is in Greece now. 40 heroes wrestled there. During the wrestling for hours, it was seen that two brothers, named Ali and Selim, could not defeat each other.

Later on a spring festival day, on Ahiköy field near Edirne, the same couple wrestled again. The brothers who could not defeat each other although they wrestled all the day, continued to wrestle by the light of the candles all night. But they died being out of breath.

Their friends left the place after burying them under a fig tree on the same place. After years when they went to the same place they saw a spring on the land where the two wrestlers’ graves stood. And then the people called the district as “KIRKPINAR” in memoriam of the ones resting there.

The place of Kirkpinar and its moving to Edirne City

The real KIRKPINAR field is the area within the meadow of Samona village in Greece. At the end of the Balkan Wars and the First World War, Kirkpinar Wrestling was organized in “Virantekke” between Edirne and Mustafapaşa Road. After the Republic, the wrestling started to be organized in Sarayiçi in Edirne in 1924.

Kirkpinar Wrestling was organized by “Kirkpinar Aghas” until 1928. They provided the awards on the wrestling and the entertainment of the guests.

But because of the economic distress in the country in 1928, nobody applied for being agha and the organization of the wrestling and the entertainment of the guests were undertaken by the Red Crescent and the Society for the Protection of Children.

The historical Kirkpinar Wrestling has started to be organized by the Edirne Municipality since 1946. In the same year, the mayor Tahsin Şipka held the Kirkpinar Wrestling among the municipality services.


In which period of the year is Kirkpinar Wrestling organized?

Traditionally, the Kirkpinar Wrestling is organized at the last week of June each year.

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