Kurtdereli Mehmet

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Mehmet Kurtdereli and Halil Adali, Ottoman postcard

Kurtdereli Mehmet Pehlivan (1864 in Bukurovo village near Tırnova – April 11, 1939 in Kurtdere village near Balıkesir) was a wrestler. He lived most of his life in the village of Kurtdere, 40 km from Balıkesir. His stood 6'5 (196 cm) tall and weighed 326 lb (148 kg).

He fought with all of the famous wrestlers of his time and was very famous. He became wrestling champion (Turkish: başpehlivan) in Kırkpınar, a traditional oil wrestling tournament near Edirne, Turkey.[1] He earned his title after defeating Kara Osman.[2]

He traveled to France, Great Britain, The Netherlands and the USA but was never defeated.[3][4]

The surname he took after the adoption the 1934 Law in Turkey on Family Names was Baykurt.[3]


  1. ^ "Kırkpınar Başpehlivanları" (in Turkish). Biyografi. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  2. ^ "Geçmişten Günümüze Kırkpınar Başpehlivanları" (in Turkish). Rdirne Belediyesi. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b Biography on Kurtdere village website
  4. ^ Biography on okimdir.com