Turkey celebrates Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr
ISTANBULMuslims in Turkey, alongside Muslim populations around the world, are set to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr starting on June 25 until June 27, marking the end of 30 days of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on May 27, with many Muslims in Turkey eating only between sunset and sunrise, and will end on June 24.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual intercourse from the “sahur” meal at sunrise to the “iftar” meal at sunset.
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam and it is seen as a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion.
Following the month’s end, thousands of Turks traditionally travel to their hometowns to spend time with their families, with recent years seeing a rise in traffic accidents across the country due to the number of people on the roads. Dozens of people died due to the traffic accidents during Eid last year.
Traffic jams in Istanbul have become a common sight in recent years at the start of Eid as people leave the city for vacation.
The Interior Ministry has sent a notice to the governor’s offices of all 81 provinces in Turkey including traffic control methods.
Drones and helicopters will surveil the routes that are expected to suffer from intense traffic, and a warning has also been issued for drivers to not take the roads if they are tired or sleepy.
Many hotels across the country are fully booked for the four-day vacation. The head of the Turkish Small Hotels Association, Mehmet Çelik, said they are expecting revival in tourism during Eid.
Most public and private employees are off-duty during the feast, although street sellers, shops and a number of businesses remain at work, as people tend to shop more to buy gifts for their family, friends and relatives.
In order to enable shopping for the citizens, the Social Security Institute (SGK) previously announced that retirement pensions would be paid earlier than usual, starting from June 21.