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The Kırkpınar oil wrestling festival takes place in Edirne, Turkey. Thousands of people from different age groups, cultures and regions travel every year to see Pehlivan (wrestlers) fight for the Kırkpınar Golden Belt and the title of Chief Pehlivan. Each festival is launched by its patron, the Kırkpınar Aga, in a ceremony featuring forty bands of davul drums and zurna shawms. The golden belt is carried through the city in a procession, followed by prayers recited in the Selimiye Mosque. The wrestling bouts customarily take place at the Men’s Field. The master of ceremonies introduces the Pehlivans to the audience, reciting in verse their names, titles and skills. Next, the oil man oils the wrestlers assisted by the towel holder, before the warm-up exercises and greetings. The wrestlers each wear kıspet, thick trousers made of water buffalo or cow leather. As the wrestling takes place, the drum and shawm bands play the traditional repertoire of the festival. Kırkpınar oil wrestling is open to men from all cultures, regions and ages without discrimination between religion, language or race. Pehlivans are considered exemplary figures in society with attributes such as generosity, honesty, respectfulness and adherence to traditions and customs. All Pehlivans are trained in the master-apprentice tradition.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
One Bedroom for each room (depends on number of guests in one room)
Depends on room type (one bathroom for each room)
This festival is held every year for more than 500 years. It was an Ottoman tradition to show respect heroes who fought to conquer Edirne and Thracian lands. This is an extraordinary experience to join locals who celebrates this festival.
Upon arrival in Istanbul, meet and greet local guide, then we proceed to Edirne which was one of the capital city of Ottoman Empire. Located on the borders of Greece and Bulgaria, Edirne has been one of the most busy and strategically important settlements of the Balkan history. Upon arrival in Edirne, first we visit Selimiye Mosque which is the icon of the city and was built by Mimar Sinan who is the most well-know architect of Ottoman Empire. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II, and was built by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan between 1568 and 1575. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture. After we have our lunch, we proceed to Eski Camii(Old Mosque) which was built in 1414 and older than Selimiye Mosque. This mosque is a good example of Mosques from early Ottoman Era that is famous for calligraphic beauties inside. After that we are going to visit Bayezid Kulliyesi/Bayezid Health Complex which was built under reign of Sultan Bayezid the Second in 1488 as an health complex that recovers many sickness during hard periods. Also this complex was a good example of university level of health educations. After our programme ends, we proceed to hotel and then check in.
Overnight in Edirne.
After we have our breakfast at hotel, we check out hotel and then proceed to Oil Wrestling Festival Arena to experience this 500 years old more festival that continously are held every year. That experience includes tens of men, young and middle aged, are wrestling nontstop. Some wrestling match can last about a couple of hours non-stop. After the wrestling festival ends, we proceed to Istanbul. Upon arrival, we have our dinner and then proceed to hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.
On this morning after we have our breakfast at hotel, we check out from hotel and proeced to Leather Outlet Shop to enjoy shopping time. After that we are going to visit Blue Mosque which was built by Sultan Ahmet the first on 1616 and very famous with its stunning blue tiles on its Wall. Afterwards we visit Hagia Sophia which was built as an Orthodox Church by Emperor Justinian in 537 AD. However the giant worship center was converted in a Mosque by Sultan Mehmet the Second in 1453. It is now a museum where you can enjoy the harmony of two culture in the same building. After our time finishes at Hagia Sophia, we continue our trip visiting Topkapı Palace which was built by Sultan Mehmet the Second in 1475. Topkapı Palace is the biggest palace in Turkey and also one of the biggest in the World by its 80 acres area. Topkapı Palace is the most visited palace in Turkey while it offers to its visitors many beautiful small mansions with nice view of Bosphorus Strait or Golden Horn, many valuable jewelleries which was used by the Sultans, Holy Relics such as David’s sword, Moses’ Staff and so on. After that we proceed to Ayyub Sultan Mosque / Abu Ayub Al Anshor Mosque who was one of the close Sahabat/friend of Prophet Mohammad and he was burried in Istanbul during Muslim’s invade to Constantinopel. There we can see some of the Holy Relics from Prophet Mohammad’s life. After our programme ends, we proceed to hotel and have a rest for the next day.
Overnight in Istanbul.
After our breakfast, we check out and then proceed to Old City of Istanbul. We have a photo stop at Istanbul City Walls that was built on 5th Century by Roman Empire to protect Istanbul from invaders. These unbeatable walls was conquered by Ottoman Empire on 15th Century and became a symbol for Turkish history of conquest of Constantinople. Later on we enjoy a short cruise trip on Bosphorus Strait with hunderds of mansions and tens of palaces by the Bosphorus and then we continue to proceed to Grand Bazaar for local souveniers shopping. After our programme ends, we will we transferred to airport for the flight back to your home.
Till we meet on another trip…
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This actually depends on the purpose of the vacation and the places you want to visit in Turkey. But, Turkey experiences intense tourism mobility mostly between April and December. It doesn’t mean that only these 9 months are the beautiful periods for Turkey vacation. For instance, regions like Istanbul and Cappadocia offer their visitors a different kind of beauty in each month. Keep in mind that in low season, prices are lower as well when compared to the peak seasons.
Turkey is on GMT + 2 (daylight saving = GMT +3 and operates between late October to late March). This means generally that Turkey is 1 hour ahead of European and 2 hours ahead of the UK standard times. Still it is a good idea to check the local time when you arrive in Turkey and adjust your watch accordingly.
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