Being wrestler is an important element of cultural identity for Turkey.
“Pehlivan” is an persian word and it is written in Burhan-ı Katı that brave, officer, governor, a large bodied, straightforward people are called as “Pehlivan”. The first period writers of Ottoman would also use “Pehlivan” word for war heros as in Seljukis. In general , being wrestler (Pehlivanlık) is general name of some features such as strength, courage, manliness and sportmanship and therefore, wrestlers have been valued by the community. Anyone aspiring couldn’t afford the title of “Pehlivan” between Turks. It was necessary to get the required unanimous vote of the judges and the masters as well as beat the competitors in order to get the title of “Pehlivan”.
In this context, all the wrestlers attending in Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling are called as “Pehlivan”. The wrestlers have grown with master-apprentice tradition. The awards have been given to the gentleman wrestlers and those who make a good start of wrestling and a presentation for wrestling (pesrev) in addition to the awards given to wrestlers winning according to their size in Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling.
The Head Wrestler in Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling becomes the Head Wrestler of Turkey and have golden belt for a year. After the third championship in a row , the wrestler becomes the permanent owner of this belt.