Camel wrestling is a traditional sport very popular along Turkey’s western coast, where male camels from local villages pit against each other in a dusty stadium. The days of this great struggle are exciting holidays for the Turkish people, as well as for many tourists.
We have already written about the fights of orangutans, squirrels, and even about the battles of crickets in China. Let’s continue this series of works with camels. Camels, decorated with decorative rugs, carved saddles and bells, walk through the streets, accompanied by music and dancing. Camel owners are dressed in no less outstanding outfits, bright scarves around their necks, jackets, special pants and marvelously shaped boots. The night before the tournament, Hali Gecesi, there is a large gathering of camel owners and their pets where they meet new friends and old acquaintances enjoy food, drink and just have fun.
The biggest problem in camel wrestling is getting the camels to fight each other. Camels are not made for fighting. They can be viciously temperamental and prone to using their teeth, but even so they can hardly be called aggressive. As a result, camel wrestling is more akin to a comedy than a blood sport. That is why wrestling is carried out during the breeding season, when male camels strive to win the attention of women. To encourage camels to fight, an adorable she-camel is often paraded in front of rivals and led away.
Camel wrestling has been popular among ancient Turkic tribes for over 2,400 years and probably began as a form of competition between nomadic caravans in the Middle East. There was a time when the Turkish government began to discourage the practice because of its excessive cruelty. However, the still popular practice of camel wrestling in the Aegean region thrives. Some even specially raise and fatten animals to put them up for battle.
In continuation, visit also a selection of serious animal fights, where you can see a lot of interesting shots.