Turkey marks start of three-day-long Eid al-Fitr
People across Turkey celebrated the first day of the three-day-long Eid al-Fitr on June 15, with many hosting friends and families at their homes and others preferring to travel to Turkish resort towns to enjoy the beach on the official holiday.
Politicians marked the start of Eid al-Fitr with morning prayers on June 15. Many visited mosques across the country to pray alongside citizens before receiving Eid greetings.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan performed Eid Al-Fitr prayers on June 15 morning at the Marmara University Faculty of Theology Mosque in Istanbul. Following prayers, Erdoğan told reporters: “In this Eid as well, whole Islam world are in difficulties, especially regarding the problem of terror. But, we have not lost our hopes.”
A day before, Erdoğan issued a message celebrating Eid al-Fitr, mostly focusing on the upcoming June 24 snap elections in their message Erdoğan said the elections would “guarantee” democracy in his June 14-dated statement.
In his message, Erdoğan referred to “democratic and economic strides” that Turkey has made over the past 16 years under his ruling Justice and Development (AKP).
He also hailed the new presidential system narrowly approved in a controversial April 2017 referendum marred by allegations of fraud, saying it would “benefit the Turkish nation and people.”
Muharrem İnce, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate, was in his home village Elmalık in the western province of Yalova on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. After praying at the village mosque, İnce greeters the villagers.
“I celebrate the Eid al-Fitr of our nation and Muslim world. I’ll hold an [election] rally at 6 p.m. today. And there I’ll give the necessary answers to those who said things about me on the eve of Eid al-Fitr,” İnce told the reporters.
Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), shared his Eid greetings on his Twitter account through his lawyers on June 15. The message, posted along with a photo of Demirtaş’s family, said: “We celebrate your Eid al-Fitr holiday, and wish you a happy and peaceful Eid with your loved ones. With the wishes of meeting again in beautiful and free days.”
In his Eid message released on June 15, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli touched upon the operations the Turkish military has been conducting against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), saying unless their camps in Syria and Iraq were destroyed, “no peace, health, and security would come to Turkish nation and local people.”
İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşner extended Eid greetings on June 15 in the Ahval district in the eastern province of Bitlis, where she addressed locals and touched on the elections as well.
“We are going into an election … People are describing this election as a war due to the language used by the ruling party. But this is just an election. This bad language needs to be stopped,” Akşener said.
Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar marked the first the day of Eid al-Fitr in the district of Cizre, bordering Syria, in the southeastern province of Şırnak. Akar and accompanying commanders performed Eid prayers at the Huzur Mosque in Cizre, after which they greeted locals.
Muslims in Turkey, alongside Muslim populations around the world, celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr starting on June 15 until June 17, marking the end of 30 days of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on May 16 in Turkey, when Muslims ate only between sunset and sunrise, and ends on the evening of June 14.
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.