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KIRKPINAR OIL WRESTLING FESTIVAL

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Wrestlers Tekke In Edirne

It is the second  Tekke (Islamic Monastry) established by Ottomans. Sultan Murat I. Veteran (1359-1389) opened this tekke in Kaleiçi so that the wrestlers could be grown and they could work out while setting mosques, religious schools, hospices, caravanseris, kiosk here after the goverment center is in Edirne (1363). The first sheik of the islamic monastry is Sheik Cemaleddin. Before the death of Sheik Cemaleddin, he donated all the goods to this tekke. He was buried in the garden of this tekke as in other religious sects after his death.

On the way from Sofia to Istanbul in July 1653, Evliya Celebi explains full details of this tekke :

Tekke (The Islamic Monastry) of Wrestler: This big Islamic Monastry’s name is Sultan Seyyid Cemaleddin Islamic Monastry. After the conquest of Edirne, Veterans Hüdavendigar raised this building because of exaltation of Islam. It has realy given color and beauty to valiants of Islam.

 Brave Rumeli youth begin to wrestle in this field by being  oiled and  shaking hands with each other like their ancestor, Zaloğlu Rüstem after kissing the hand of Sheik and praying for Hz. Muhammed. The audience is out of breath and stumped while watching them. Their sage (Pir), Mahmut Pir Yar Veli feels a glow of satisfaction and they make envious the valiants of Islam.

The wrestling place of this Islamic monastry is a kind of area unprecented and oiled. The person who are not accustomed to and resourceful can fall down suddenly. The bold and brave men of this field can wrestle during  two or three hours although they are bare food. They take revenge by defeating their opponents with the wrestling games such as Künde Atma, Şirazi, Asmanişin, Sarma, Kesme, Kavak Dikme, Taşlama, Cezayir Sarması and Kapan-atma. Being strong is bravery for wrestlers but being playful is more important. Our ancestors says that if manliness is ten, nine of that is trick and game. To know wrestling and swordsmanship is necessary for people to go to the war. Wrestling is one of the things our prophet, Hz. Muhammed liked.

Hundred pair of wrestler dervishes work out for Pir Yar Veli in Edirne Islamic Monastry of Wrestler.

This Islamic monastry is not made of stone but it is well-groomed. It has plenty of rooms, a place to cook and a garden on the edge of the river Meriç (Evros). There are the springs made of iron, different kinds of arrows, 50-60 pound oiled clothings (Kispet) made form buffalo leather and lots of training tools such as zerbeste and matrak. This Islamic monastry of wrestler is located next to Ali Paşa Bazaar and inside of the door of Balık (Fish) Bazaar.

Evliya Celebi gives this information when telling the entombed Saints in Edirne :

“.. There is the tomb of Hz. Sheikh Seyyid Cemaleddin, devoted to God, Hz. Pir Yar Veli and Ali in Islamic Monastry of Wrestlers. There is also the tomb of one of the most important wrestler, Er Sultan who defeated seventy-famous wrestler of Uzun Hasan, Azerbaijan Sultan in the presence of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. Er Sultan is the master of Wrestler DEMİR who fighted with four yezidi lion and broke into pieces in the presence of Yavuz Sultan Selim.”

The following results come out in the light of this information Evliya Celebi gave :

1-Edirne Islamıc Monastry of Wrestler is commemorated as Sheikh Cemalleddin Islamic Monastry.

2-Sheikh Cemaleddin is the supporter of Hz. Ali and Bektashi.

3-Wrestling Competitions are held on Friday.

4- Bef