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Ramazan (Ramadan) in Turkey

The holy month of Ramazan (Ramadan) is a very important time for Muslims as it is one of the five basic duties of the Islam faith. Ramazan is a time of fasting, prayer, contemplation and celebration.

Ramazan is celebrated as the month that Mohammed wrote the Quran.

The dates of Ramazan move forward by 11 or 12 days each year, this is because Islam uses the Islamic lunar calendar. It takes about 33 years and 5 days for Ramazan to complete a twelve month move across the yearly calendar.

Muslims observing Ramazan must fast during the hours of daylight, nothing should pass the lips, no food, drink, smoke or anything. Observant faster's will also not swim or shower during the day time fast in case water passes the lips.

After the sun goes down the Oruç (fast) is broken and faster's will celebrate with a feast known as Iftar (Breakfast). About one hour before sunrise faster's will eat a pre-fast meal known as Sahur.

During Ramazan Muslims try to visit different mosques to pray. Yatsi Namazi (night praying) is followed by a special Namaz (prayer) called Teravih, a ritual worshiping performed only on Ramazan nights.

The last 10 days of Ramazan are the most important as the faithful watch for the Kadir Gecesi (Night of Power) during which the revelation of the book to the Prophet Muhammad was completed. In a way it is considered the climax of Ramazan and many Muslims stay awake all night praying or listening to sermons from the Imam (religious leader).

At the end of Ramazan there is a three day holiday known as Seker Bayrami (Sugar Festival) to celebrate the end of the fast.
Things to bear in mind
When Ramazan falls in winter months days are shorter so it is easier to fast, but as Ramazan is now falling in the summer and not being able to even drink water during the long hot days causes additional pressures. Smokers may also be climbing the walls without their nicotine hits.
Please be considerate
Don’t eat, drink or smoke in public places during the hours of fasting. The faster's will be having a tough enough time of it and won’t appreciate the sight of you swigging from a bottle of Coke. You will be fine in restaurants and bars in tourist areas but if you travel to more rural areas you may find it difficult to find anywhere to eat during the day so take some food and drink with you.
Watch out for the crazy drivers
Around dusk some thirsty & hungry faster's will race home for their Iftar meals. Thirsty, hungry, dying for a fag and with low blood sugar their driving may be even more erratic than normal.
The Ramazan Davulcusu (Ramadan Drummers)
These guys walk around neighbourhoods in the early hours banging a big drum to wake people up for their Sahur meals. It is an old tradition from the times before alarm clocks were invented. If you are “blessed” with having a drummer in your street he may well knock on your door during Bayram for a tip.