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New Gallery: Camel Wrestling in Selcuk

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Celebrated as stars and touring on a truck across the country: the keeper of the camel ‘Camel Wrestling League’. Every Sunday from November to March they meet with their camels for a competition in another town along the Turkish Aegean. The most important of all is the tournament of Selcuk-Ephesus.

The keepers enter the arena like Roman commanders. They whip the camels up until the animals lunge onto each other. One camel tries to floor. They wallow in the sand, hiss, and wrestle. The referee counts the ring as in boxing if a camel kisses the floor – and the audience hoots.

A camel can wrestle for fifteen to twenty years, then they are too old. Bulls that do not fight any longer end at the butcher’s.