Today: July 16, 2024
Today: July 16, 2024

Chiseled gladiators, tight leather pants, and copious amounts of olive oil: Inside Turkey’s ancient oil wrestling festival

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Chiseled gladiators, tight leather pants, and copious amounts of olive oil: Inside Turkey's ancient oil wrestling festival

Edirne, Turkey (CNN) — Under a pop-up tent on a sunbeaten patch of grass, a shirtless Cengizhan Koca is bent over a pair of black leather pants in prayer. But more than just prayer alone is needed to wriggle into the stiff-looking trousers emblazoned with his family name. He pours a bottle filled with a mixture of water and olive oil into the pants, and then with a few firm tugs on the waistband and a wiggle of the hips, he’s in.

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