Athletic traditions of Istanbul

The city of Istanbul has a long history of interest in athletics and games dating to the earliest days of New Rome, where gladiators battled. Freelance writer John Crofoot has the story for Today's Zaman.

The Romans brought their interest in the gladiatorial arts to Constantinople, including boxing, wrestling and track and field, and equestrian sports. Later the Byzantines enjoyed hunting and jousting. The Ottomans liked racing and archery. Many sports were associated with military training.