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Camels wrestle in traditional Turkish event

Updated : January 25, 2019 11:50 AM IST

Thousands of spectators gathered in the Aegean town of Selcuk to watch camel wrestling, a tradition that dates back 2,400 years. While smaller festivals are held across the country during the winter months — traditionally camel mating season — the one in Selcuk, just a few miles from the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, is the largest and most prestigious. The 37th installment of the competition brought together about 120 camels and their proud owners, many of whom adorned their animals with the red-and-white Turkish flag.

A camel owner tries to pull his camel as it wrestles with another during Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel owner tries to pull his camel as it wrestles with another during Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A dancer performs for the spectators during Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A dancer performs for the spectators during Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camels bearing elaborately decorated saddles, wrestle during the camel wrestling festival. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camels bearing elaborately decorated saddles, wrestle during the camel wrestling festival. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Wrestling camels, bearing elaborately decorated saddles, parade during a contest in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Wrestling camels, bearing elaborately decorated saddles, parade during a contest in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Turkish flag and a poster of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are seen on a hill full of spectators overlooking the arena. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Turkish flag and a poster of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are seen on a hill full of spectators overlooking the arena. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel handler kisses his camel prior to a parade. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel handler kisses his camel prior to a parade. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel owner tries to pull his camel as it wrestles with another. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel owner tries to pull his camel as it wrestles with another. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Spectators feast on meat and sausage washed down by raki, Turkey's traditional anise alcoholic beverage, overlooking the arena. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Spectators feast on meat and sausage washed down by raki, Turkey's traditional anise alcoholic beverage, overlooking the arena. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel handler smiles as he arrives to Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel handler smiles as he arrives to Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Handlers of a wrestling camel celebrate after it 'beat' its opponent.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Handlers of a wrestling camel celebrate after it 'beat' its opponent.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel handler embraces his animal during the camel wrestling festival. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A camel handler embraces his animal during the camel wrestling festival. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camel handlers lead a camel, bearing an elaborately decorated saddle, to a parade. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camel handlers lead a camel, bearing an elaborately decorated saddle, to a parade. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Musicians perform traditional folk songs, as spectators enjoy on the hill overlooking the arena. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Musicians perform traditional folk songs, as spectators enjoy on the hill overlooking the arena. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Musicians perform traditional folk songs, as a spectator washes down raki, Turkey's traditional anise alcoholic beverage, backdropped by a Turkish flag decorated with an image of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Musicians perform traditional folk songs, as a spectator washes down raki, Turkey's traditional anise alcoholic beverage, backdropped by a Turkish flag decorated with an image of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camels wrestle during Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camels wrestle during Turkey's largest camel wrestling festival in the Aegean town of Selcuk, Turkey.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camels bearing elaborately decorated saddles, wrestle during the event. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Camels bearing elaborately decorated saddles, wrestle during the event. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A vendor offers sausages for sale to spectators. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A vendor offers sausages for sale to spectators. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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