My friend from Turkey, Dr. Atakan Koc Koç (animal scientist) wrote some details to me explaining somehow the details of camel wrestling in Turkey.
He writes as; We also have a similar tradition for more than 200 years in Turkey. But we call it “Camel Wrestling”, not fighting. The procedure of wrestling is elaborated in the following bullets.
- First of all, wrestling takes place under the supervision of the referee and assistants.
- Secondly, before wrestling, camels have their mouths tied so that they do not hurt each other, so they are not allowed to suffer.
- Thirdly, wrestling only takes 10 minutes. If one does not dominate the other, it ends in a draw. Most wrestling ends in draws anyway. If it is understood that one camel is superior to the other, wrestling is terminated.
- Fourth, 30-40 thousand people come to watch wrestling in some places. They watch wrestling in a picnic setting. The whole family comes and joins the wrestling.
- Wrestling is usually held on Sunday. At least 50-60 wrestling/games are played. Camels are matched according to their wrestling style. They can do a lot of different wrestling games.
- The evening before the wrestling day, a dinner party called “Carpet Night” is organized, and the wrestling camel owners participate in this entertainment. A social event for wrestling camel owners.
- They come and join wrestling 350-400 km far from the wrestling place. It is strictly forbidden to give any doping substance or performance enhancer to make their camels win.
- There are camel wrestling associations where wrestling camel owners are members.
- The camel wrestling association has organized a wrestling federation. The federation is responsible for the organization of camel wrestling, the assignment of referees and their assistants, as well as servants.
Camel wrestling is also a symbol of love for camels
Animal rights advocates do object, and rightly so in their own right. In fact, wrestling camels are very well cared for and fed. However, most camels will have to be slaughtered if camel wrestling is banned. Like a member of the family. There are even those who bury them in a suitable place when they die and some of them built graves. As a result, not camels are not allowed to fight, they are allowed to wrestle in Turkey.