The camel-wrestling season is on again in Turkey.
GV Folk dancers at festival.
GV Camel with colourful saddle in crowd SCU camel's face with decorated bridle. GV camel. (3 SHOTS)
GV Camels begin to wrestle as crowd watches. (6 SHOTS)
GV Men pulling camels apart with ropes over humps as crowd and photographers watch. (5 SHOTS)
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Background: The camel-wrestling season is on again in Turkey. It's been a popular pastime of people in the Aegean area for hundreds of years. At a recent festival in the town of Selcuk, thousands of people came to see the heavyweight sport and gamble on the likely outcome. Folk dancers entertained the crowd, then the camels made a colourful appearance with their scarlet pack-saddles tightened so they can push an opponent or provide a means of defence. Local musicians provided an interlude before the main bouts commenced. The festival is traditionally conducted in winter because camels don't like the hot and rainy weather, so their owners often warm them up with hot drinks to make them more fierce. The champion wrestler is the camel which manages to bring his opponent to the ground. At the end of each event spectators join the action and separate the fighting beasts to make sure no serious injuries occur.