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HomeLatest News100TH ANNIVERSARY OF TÜRKIYE: Republic of Türkiye in Olympic Games

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF TÜRKIYE: Republic of Türkiye in Olympic Games

Ankara, October 24, 2023: Turkish national wrestler, who became the champion at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, became the first athlete to bring the Republic of Türkiye a gold medal in the Olympic Games, writes Selcuk Bugra Gokalp for Anadolu Agency.

Born in Erzincan in 1912, Erkan moved to Istanbul with his family when he was 4 years old and was introduced to wrestling at the Kumkapi Wrestling Club.

Erkan, who was selected for the national team in 1933, became the Balkan champion in the same year. He won the Balkan Championships three years in a row and achieved a historic success at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Competing in men’s Greco-Roman 61-kg final, Erkan bagged the gold medal and made history as the first Olympic champion of the Republic of Türkiye.

Another Turkish national wrestler, Ahmet Kirecci, received a bronze medal in the same competition.

Erkan, who retired from wrestling in 1940 and later served as a coach in the Turkish National Wrestling Team, died on May 18, 1986.

Later, Turkish wrestlers followed path opened by Erkan.

  • Wrestling is the branch in which Türkiye performs best in the Olympics.
  • Turkish wrestlers won 66 of the 104 medals Türkiye has collected in total in its Olympic history.
  • Turkish wrestlers have clinched 29 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze medals in the Olympic Games.
  • Türkiye has a total of 104 medals in the Olympics, including 41 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze.
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