Ramadan in Turkey

Ramadan begins for Muslims in Turkey and around the world

Millions of Muslims in Turkey and around the world have begun the daily fasting for the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. According to Islamic tradition, it was during this month that the first verses of the Koran began to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During Ramadan, devout Muslims must refrain from drinking, eating, smoking, sexual intercourse, blasphemy, or doing anything wrong from sunrise to sunset; however, children, elderly, people who are sick or traveling, and pregnant women, are exempt from fasting in Ramadan, which is broken every day after sunset with iftar, a dinner at which is usual to gather family, friends and neighbors.

According to the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan will last 29 days this year until April 21. In previous days, iconic places such as the Great Mosque of Hagia Sophia have been being cleaned and conditioned to accommodate thousands of faithful who will come to pray on these days. This year, traditional charity acts during Ramadan will focus on helping survivors of the earthquakes in south-eastern Turkey. In addition, as usual at this time, the markets and bazaars of Istanbul and other cities are filled with people looking to buy dates and other typical products to eat after breaking the fasting.