Since this website is about travelling to Istanbul, it would seem remiss to not give at least a little background information on Turkey, so that Is what I will do in this post.
About Turkey the Country
Turkey was formed at the end of Ottoman Empire in 1923 with Ataturk being the first President. Ataturk is widely cherished across Turkey and there are numerous statues & pictures most places you look. The Ottoman Empire, once one of the worlds superpowers in the 1400’s is celebrated in Turkey and there are many places to learn about the history of this time. In Istanbul for example, you will find in the Maidens Tower or Eyup scripts explaining the history and often find places to have your photo taken wearing traditional Ottoman clothes.
Capital City: Ankara
Largest City: Istanbul
Official Language: Turkish
Population:79,800,000 (as of 2017) (14,800,000 in Istanbul alone)
Currency: Turkish Lira (Today, £1 is approximately 6.87₺)
Religious & National Holidays
The table below shows the dates of each holiday in Turkey for 2017 & 2018. Please note these dates change yearly as the Islamic faith follows the lunar cycle calendar and not Gregorian.
|New Years Day||1st January||1st January|
|National Sovereignty and Children's Day||April 23rd||April 23rd||Celebrates the creation of the Turkish Parliment and highlights the importance of children in the country’s development|
|Labour Day||1st May||1st May|
|Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth & Sports Day||19th May||19th May||Marks the start of the war of independence in 1919|
|Ramadan Feast||26th-28th June||15th June|
|Democracy & National Solidarity Day||15th July|
|Victory Day||30th August||30th August||Commemorates a key victory in the Turkish war of independence in 1922|
|Kurban Bayrami||1st-4th September||22nd-24th August||Sacrifice Feast|
|Republic Day||29th October||29th October||Half day holiday in the afternoon|
The Turkish travel home on religious holidays so you generally find that Istanbul is much quieter on these dates. On Labour Day (1st May), busy places such as Sultanahmet, Taksim etc have demonstrations for workers right. These can be quite dangerous due to the atmosphere it creates and police will be deployed to calm any spontaneous riots. I would advise strongly against visiting busy places on this day.
Top 10 Holiday Locations in Turkey
I will be writing a post on each of these soon!