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Selcuk Efes: Popular camel fighting festival in Turkey

Camel fighting is a popular and common traditional sport along the west coast of Turkey.

The Selcuk Efes Camel Wrestling Festival is a fixture on the Turkish sporting calendar held annually.

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The fight involves male camels from individuals in the village which are put together in a dusty battle group.

The camels are covered loosely with colourful clothes carved saddles and bells.

Camel Wrestling
Selcuk Efes is a Popular camel fighting festival in Turkey. Photo courtesy

They are then given a mighty entrance into the stadium after a walk in the streets enjoying cool music.

Those who own the participants (camels) are required to dress in checked caps, traditional scarves, jackets, pants and boots.

A Hali Gecesi or Rug night event is held on the night before the main event. The night us just a meet for the camel owners, fans and acquaintances to celebrate and have fans.

During the tournament, the biggest challenge faced is making the camels fight one another because they are generally not created to fight.

The animals can be high tempered to an extent of using using their teeth. This makes the fight more of comedy that action.

To allow for the fights to happen easily the wrestle is held during the breeding season.

And to encourage the camels to wrestle, an attractive female is paraded in front of the contestants and led away.

The males would then start fight for about five to ten minutes. They both try to dominate their rivals by sitting on him.

The winner is declared after one of the camels run away from the arena, screams or falls with its back.

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The camel fight started way back with Turkic tribes over 2,400 years ago and it is said to have been started by nomads in Middle East.

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