400 athletes and 40 countries participated in the championship held at the Central Sports Complex in cooperation with the Turkish Traditional Sports Federation and Kahramanmaraş, with final competitions held in the 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 90, and 130 kg weight classes. İsmail Balaban was the wrestling champion of the Shalwar Wrestling World Championship.
World Ethnosport Confederation (WEC) President Bilal Erdoğan, Turkish Traditional Sports Federation President Hakan Kazancı, and Turkish Wrestling Federation President Şeref Eroğlu watched the championship closely.
WEC President Necmeddin Bilal Erdoğan said in the speech he gave there how preserving a nation’s identity is possible by preserving its values and cultural elements, stating:
“Keeping our traditional sports alive is very prominent for us in preserving our identity and culture. In fact, we are living through a world-wide adventure for this. We have entered a struggle, working, making attempts, and giving support so that all the nations of the world can have their traditional sport survive. More than 20 World Ethnosport Confederation members from 15 different countries throughout the world are working in this direction. What was the reason for our Kahramanmaraş’s deliverance? It was for our independence. It was to protect the decency of these lands. It was for our honor, our standard, our call to prayer that will never not be heard, our culture, and our beliefs. For this reason, may we attempt to support our children in engaging with these traditional sports so that all traditional sports may survive, revive, and recover once again.”
Explaining how keeping traditional sports alive is essential, Necmeddin Bilal Erdoğan stated, “Let’s keep these sports of our alive so that Anatolia may show it has the capability to build its own future using its own values. These branches are our sports. These are the sports of ours that bear the traces of our own lives and our own history and reflect our true identity.”