Ways to Win:
The essential pin in Yağlı Gűreş is similar to that in Greco-Roman wrestling (which, incidentally, is neither Greek nor Roman, but a modern European adaptation. Except for covering their nakedness with a kispet – which is an act of male modesty commanded by Mohammed – the Turks claim that theirs is closest to the classic Greek style). The first wrestler whose “umbilicus is exposed to heaven” loses the match. Holding of the shoulders to the ground for a period of time is not an element in the pin.
There are alternatives to this basic pin which also constitute a victory:
(1) The “crush.” A fighter may maneuver his opponent onto his stomach and then trap him by sprawling on top. If he can keep him down with his face buried in the grass
he can then turn his exhausted opponent with a half-nelson for a pin. This is a dangerous move, and the referee monitors closely to see that the bottom man is not suffocated. If the “crusher” is not successful after a given period the referee has them begin again from a standing position.
(2) Submission. Occasionally the match under a hot summer sun is so long and arduous that one fighter will simply signal his submission to the referee. Pin.
(3) Since a wrestler is not restricted from placing his hands inside his opponent’s kispet
(he may not grab his balls or invade his rectum, however), he can also use the waistband to hold the other man in place. Occasionally the kispet is yanked so far below his hips that the fighter being held cannot rise without exposing himself. Having lost his trunks he also loses the match.
(4) If a fighter is able to lift his opponent entirely off the ground and carry him five paces in any direction, that is a “carrying” pin.
(5) A running “flip” is sometimes employed, in which the wrestler causes both his opponent and himself to expose their navels during the roll. The loser is the one whose navel is first to be exposed. Unless the initiator of this move is careful, he may find himself the loser even though he was the “flipper.”
The extraordinary (by western standards) sportsmanship and mutual respect between Turks is most clearly displayed whenever one gets a bit of grass in his eye or needs to adjust his kispet. Without any particular signal from the referee they simply disengage and correct the situation. If water is needed to wash out an eye it is the opponent who runs to fetch it. If sweat has blinded the eyes of a wrestler they stop long enough for the referee to hand each of them a wad of cheesecloth for wiping. Often winner and loser will walk off the field together arm in arm
. If one fighter is injured and a stretcher crew is unavailable it is his opponent who will assist him off the field.
The rules are few in comparison to those governing western styles, relying more on a tradition of comradeship than upon detailed prohibitions. A wrestler may grab his opponent’s kispet in any way which helps him with a throw, or to control or for a pin. Sometime he will thrust his arm down the other’s kispet up to his armpit in order to obtain leverage. Despite this freedom, the intentional fouling of a wrestler is almost unheard of.
Hitting is a little more problematic, and the referee’s discretion is the only real arbiter. Open-handed blows to the back of the opponent’s neck, trying to shove his head down, are common.
Usually the opponent will respond with the same blow. Even hitting the face with an open hand is tolerated, although that can lead to impromptu fisticuffs and flared tempers. The referee then halts the action and admonishes both wrestlers before they can continue. On very rare occasions of flagrantly bad sportsmanship the referee will award the match to the victim.