EXCERPT FROM EUROTRIPPING ©JR DAESCHNER
You can't blame the gay fans, really.
What with all the swarthy young men in black leather breeches lubricating their half-naked opponents with olive oil and then wrestling them to their knees and ramming their hands down their pants, well, it was only a matter of time before Turkey's national sport found a camp following on the international scene.
Yet devotees of Oil Wrestling were horrified when photos of glistening, hard-bodied Turks wound up on homoerotic websites around the world. A gay group calling itself the Bears of Turkey even started advertising a bus tour for foreigners to drool over the Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Championships, a semi-sacred event that dates back to the very foundations of Turkey.
As if Oil Wrestling didn't have enough problems already.
In recent years, Islamic hardliners have objected to the flesh-baring spectacle-particularly the 'hands-down-pants' hold-while doping scandals have undermined the sport's ultramacho image-surely Turkish wrestlers don't need to boost their sky-high testosterone levels!
Not to mention the occasional brawls-dozens of oiled-up Turks punching it out on the field-or, even worse, the lingering rumours (perpetuated by know-nothing outsiders) that the most Turkish of sports may have actually been invented by the Greeks as part of their ancient Olympic Games.