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The legacies of the Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Christian apostles, Byzantines, Ottoman Turks & the other civilizations that have called this land home have made Turkey into a vast outdoor museum full of beautiful, intriguing sites. Highlights of Turkey's many treasures include the spectacular Byzantine churches & beautiful mosques of Istanbul; the ruins of the fabled city of Pergamum on its windswept hilltop; the holy city of Konya where Dervishes still whirl; the extraordinary landscape & cave dwellings of Cappadocia; the great theatre of ancient Ephesus; the magnificent beaches of the Aegean & Mediterranean with signs of ancient civilizations at every turn & so much more...


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Rumeli Hisari Concerts
01/Jun/2012 - 1 Month
Istanbul, Turkey
Held over the summer in the magnificent Rumeli Hisari fortress, the open-air concerts bring some of Turkey's best-loved musicians to the stage. Situated on the European side of the city, the fortress was built in 1451 by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II & offers stunning views over the Bosphorus & is a great venue in which to listen to Turkish music.
Themes: Music, History

International Istanbul Jazz Festival 01/Jul/2012 - 1 Month
Istanbul, Turkey
Each year the International Istanbul Jazz Festival treats music lovers to a packed two-week program of jazz concerts. Taking place in various venues around the city, the festival always attracts large crowds made up of jazz fans from Turkey & beyond. Each year, the festival awards a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' to one of the old jazz masters for their contribution to the world of music. Over the years, the festival has welcomed many jazz legends to the stage with past performers including such greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Ornette Coleman & Youssou N'Dour.
Themes: Music

Rock n Coke Music Festival ??/Jul/2012 - 4 Days
Istanbul, Turkey
Rock'n Coke is a member of the European Festival Association. Every summer, the Hezarfen Airfield is used as a venue for a 4 day chain of concerts, with both national & international performers featured. Although mainly rock-oriented, Rock'n Coke also hosts other music genres. While the main stage is generally reserved for rock & its subgenres, the DJ Arena (now called Burn Stage) is reserved for styles such as house music. In 2005, the festival grounds were large enough to support two stages, a mini-amusement park, two large food areas, a shopping area, several sponsor attractions, 400 outhouses & a large camp site for people with two-day tickets. The total area used by the festival was around 60 acres.
Themes: Music, Entertainment

Victory Day (Zafer Bayram) 30/Aug/2012
Countrywide, Turkey
Victory Day is a national holiday that is recognized on 30 August & is celebrated throughout the country. Its origins date back to a battle that began on 26 August 1922 when Greek troops invaded Turkey. The invasion was successfully repelled & the battle ended just four days later on 30 August. Although the day has now lost much of its military significance for the younger generations, it is still a day of national pride on which the country's armed forces lay wreaths at the Ataturk Mausoleum in Istanbul, acknowledging the role Mustafa Kemal Ataturk played in founding the country.
Themes: National History

Istanbul Biennial Sep - Nov/2012
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul's main arts festival takes place in a variety of historic buildings & venues across the city. The aim since its foundation in 1987 has been to bring together artists from home & abroad to encourage a free exchange of ideas & inspiration. A showcase for contemporary art, the Istanbul Biennial has attracted leading exhibitors such as the British Turner prize winners Gillian Wearing & Gavin Turk.
Themes: Art & Literature, Exhibitions

Ramadan 19-21/Aug/2012
Countrywide, Turkey
Ramadan is the Muslim festival of fasting & is the most important festival in the Islamic Calendar which is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. The arrival of the crescent moon in the night sky signals the start of 30 days of fasting during which Muslims don't eat, drink or smoke during the day, eating all their meals before sunrise & after sunset. Consequently, many of Turkey's cafes & coffee shops throng with activity each evening during Ramadan as people catch up with one another & the day's news. Fasting is one of the pillars of the Islamic faith & reminds Muslims of the plight of the poor, sick & needy. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the 30-day fasting period & is a great celebration throughout the Muslim world.
Themes: History, Religious, Culture

Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon ??/Oct/2012
Istanbul, Turkey
The only intercontinental marathon which starts in Asia & ends in Europe. Open to participants over 18 years old, runners from all over the world are invited to join the Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon which starts from the Anatolian side of Istanbul, crosses the Bosphorus Bridge & ends on the European side of the city. Participants can also opt for a shorter Fun Run & both routes take in some of the most spectacular sites of this stunning city. The night before, participants are invited to attend a Pasta Party at the City Hall.
Themes: Spectacle, Sport, Entertainment

Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayram) 29/Oct/2011
Countrywide, Turkey
Republic Day is celebrated on 29 October & marks the day in 1923 when Turkey's constitution was changed, freeing it from the grasp of the Ottoman Empire, to become a republic. The day is a national holiday throughout the country & ceremonies & events take place to honour the founder of the republic & the country's first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Themes: National History, Military, Exhibitions

Feast of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayram) 25-28/Oct/2012
Countrywide, Turkey
The Feast of the Sacrifice is a religious holiday that is celebrated throughout Turkey & remembers the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of his son Ismail (Isaac). During the four-day festival, lambs are still traditionally slaughtered & the meat distributed to the poor & needy. This is mostly done in professional abattoirs, but some of the ritual slaughters take place in public places. This is a major public holiday in Turkey & many businesses & shops close during the festival.
Themes: Religious, Food & Drink, History, Entertainment

Mevlana (Seb i Aruz) Whirling Dervishes 10/Dec/2012 - 1 Week
Konya & Countrywide, Turkey
The Commemorative Ceremony for Mevlana, the great Sufic saint (1207-1273), is one of the world's greatest spectacles. More than a million people descend on Konya, the ancient Seljuk capital, for the festival of the Whirling Dervishes. At the Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya, mystical ceremonial dances are performed in honour of the great teacher & philosopher.
Themes: Religious, Music, Performance

New Year's Day 01/Jan/2012
Countrywide, Turkey
This is a national holiday throughout Turkey & most businesses & shops are closed on New Year's Day. The day is often spent with friends, families & loved ones & it's customary to have a big meal either at lunch time or in the evening.
Themes: Food & Drink, Entertainment

Below are listed Public Holidays for the January - December 2012 period

01  Jan New Year's Day
23  Apr National Sovereignty & Children's Day
01  May Labour Day Public Holiday
19  May Commemoration of Ataturk's Youth & Sports Day
30  Aug Victory Day
19 - 21  Aug (18th is half-day) Ramazan Bayrami (End of Ramadan)
29  Oct  Republic Day
25 - 28 Oct Kurban Bayrami (Feast of the Sacrifice)

The information provided here is given in good faith & has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change & some of the information may become out of date. If you have any queries, please contact us for current updates.

Last Updated: 18 Nov 2011
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