This quintessence of dust

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how

infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and

admirable . . . . and yet,to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Photographer Terry George and Turkish Oil Wrestling before 2015


Oil wrestling takes place mainly in Turkey and in the Balkans, which, not too many years ago, were part of the Ottoman Empire.

For about Turkish oil wrestling,  see Kırkpınar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Many gay men think of Turkish oil wrestling as erotic. Turks do not.  Male intimacy is common and not sexual. 

In many central Asian countries, especially those in which women are seen as slaves and not highly regraded, men freely and easily touch one another intimately.  For example, single guys cannot be in the presence of an unmarried woman, in Saudi Arabia, unless she is covered from head to toe by a burka, and accompanied by a male chaperone.  Shopping may be done only on "men's days", so as not to accidentally run across a woman.   In areas governed by the Pashtun, men gather of an evening to listen to music and watch young men dressed in women's garments dance for their pleasure, thrilling to the touch of a hem.

A woman's lot is much better in Turkey now, but "now" is not many years ago, women still have a long way to go before they are equal to men, and old patterns persist.

Disregard of women may explain why in many of the images of oil wrestling men touch men's genitals with no embarrassment or shame or arousal, or perhaps it does.

For an indication of Turkish attitudes toward gay men in 2006, see Beauty and the brawn - The Standard

Attitudes toward gays may be changing.  See, e.g., the gay pride parade held  June in Izmir, not far from the Kirkpinar Festival.   Turkey: Pride parade in coastal city of Izmir - Culture - Citizenside France.

One of the great photographers of Turkish oil wrestling is Terry George.  See, e.g., Turkish Oil Wrestling pehlivan 2014 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Some of the earlier posts of oil wrestling on this blog are herehere,and  here.

George has not yet posted Turkish oil wrestling images from 2015; and friends of George's have published a collection from 2012 and later that I have not seen before.  They are here:

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