Official, National & Religious Holidays in Turkey

by Istanbul Trails

in City Trip, When & Why to Go

Below you’ll find a list of the official, national and religious holidays in Turkey for 2009, 2010 and 2011. When you plan a city trip or a cultural excursion, you may want to take a look at these. Museums, monuments and palaces may be closed on official and national holidays, and can have deviating opening hours during religious holidays. Banks don’t even open their doors, no matter the holiday.

Military parade in front of Atatürks mausoleum in Ankara, Turkey

Please note: May 1st is from now on an official holiday in Turkey. Every year eventful (often prohibited) demonstrations to celebrate this day take place in and around the Taksim area. These demonstrations often end quite violent in nature, so I advice you either to plan your holiday May 1st excluded, or plan excursions far away from crowded areas (Taksim, Kadıköy, Nişantaşı) and settle for excursions in Sultanahmet or take a Scenic Bosphorus Tour on May 1st.

2009

Thursday, 1 January
New Year’s Day (Yılbaşı) – Official Holiday

Thursday, 23 April
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Ulusal Eğemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Parliament

Tuesday, 19 May
Commemoration of Atatürk and Youth & Sports Day (Atatürk’ü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı) – National Holiday – The arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, the beginning of the War of Independence

Sunday, 30 August
Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) – National Holiday – Victory over the allied forces in 1922

Saturday, 19 September
Feast of the Ramadan’s Eve (Ramazan Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day

Sunday, 20 – Tuesday, 22 September
Feast of the Ramadan (Ramazan Bayramı) – Religious Holidays – To celebrate the end of fasting

Thursday, 29 October
Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic

Thursday, 26 November
Feast of the Sacrifice’s Eve (Kurban Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day

Friday, 27 – Monday, 30 November
Feast of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) – Religious Holidays – Four-day festival where sheep are sacrificed/slaughtered and their meat is distributed to the poor

2010

Friday, 1 January
New Year’s Day (Yılbaşı) – Official Holiday

Friday, 23 April
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Ulusal Eğemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Parliament

Saturday, 1 May
Labour Day (Emek ve Dayanışma Günü) – National Holiday

Wednesday, 19 May
Commemoration of Atatürk and Youth & Sports Day (Atatürk’ü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı) – National Holiday – The arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, the beginning of the War of Independence

Monday, 30 August
Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) – National Holiday – Victory over the allied forces in 1922

Wednesday, 8 September
Feast of the Ramadan’s Eve (Ramazan Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day

Thursday, 9 September – Saturday, 11 September
Feast of the Ramadan (Ramazan Bayramı) – Religious Holidays – To celebrate the end of fasting

Friday, 29 October
Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic

Monday, 15 November
Feast of the Sacrifice’s Eve (Kurban Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day

Tuesday, 16 – Friday, 19 November
Feast of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) – Religious Holidays – Four-day festival where sheep are sacrificed/slaughtered and their meat is distributed to the poor

2011

Saturday, 1 January
New Year’s Day (Yılbaşı) – Official Holiday

Saturday, 23 April
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Ulusal Eğemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Parliament

Sunday, 1 May
Labour Day (Emek ve Dayanışma Günü) – National Holiday

Thursday, 19 May
Commemoration of Atatürk and Youth & Sports Day (Atatürk’ü Anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı) – National Holiday – The arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, the beginning of the War of Independence

Monday, 29 August
Feast of the Ramadan’s Eve (Ramazan Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day

Tuesday, 30 August
Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) – National Holiday – Victory over the allied forces in 1922

Tuesday, 30 August – Thursday, 01 September
Feast of the Ramadan (Ramazan Bayramı) – Religious Holidays – To celebrate the end of fasting

Saturday, 29 October
Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayramı) – National Holiday – Anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic

Saturday, 5 November
Feast of the Sacrifice’s Eve (Kurban Bayramı Arifesi) – Religious Holiday – ½ day

Sunday, 6 – Wednesday, 9 November
Feast of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) – Religious Holidays – Four-day festival where sheep are sacrificed/slaughtered and their meat is distributed to the poor

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