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Game of Jereed

 

Jereed is a sport part of the long tradition of holding horses in high esteem in Turkey. A jereed is thrown by opponents on horseback to score points against one another.

During the Ottoman period it became a popular war game demonstrating the bravery of its participants, with competitions held in the Hippodrome in Istanbul. Despite its popularity, it was banned in 1826 by Sultan Mahmut II, who considered it to be too dangerous.

Jereed game was very popular all over Anatolia 50-60 years ago. The great interest felt by Turkish people in horse rising, and their considerable success at it, turned first into an entertainment and later into a sport.

This traditional sport is a team event, involving two teams of horsemen, who throw wooden javelins at each other to score points.

The game of Turkish jereed is commonly played by men, and generally performed at weddings, on special days or at fairs.

Now it is only played in a few regions to mark ceremonial occasions, mostly those around Erzurum and Kars in the east of Turkey, although it can also still be seen in Konya, in central Anatolia, and in Balıkesir on the Aegean.