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Public holidays - Victory Day and Kurban Bayram 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 August 2017

Kurban BayramComing up soon are a couple of Turkish national holidays.  In view of the fact that tourism in Turkey has not been doing so well the government has decided to effectively combine Zafer Bayram (Victory Day) celebrations with an extended Kurban Bayram, also known as Eid al Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice).

This is the third consecutive year that the Turkish government has extended public holidays in an attempt to boost the tourism economy.  It is reported that the benefit may be worth over one billion Turkish lira.

The government has decreed that Eid al Adha will begin on Monday 28th August and end on Monday 4th September, with people returning to work on 5th September.  If you include weekends this takes the break to 10 days.  This is for the public sector only (various government departments) but does not apply to the private sector, e.g. banks.  See details below.

Victory Day (Zafer Bayram), is always celebrated in Turkey on 30th August.  This year it is effectively absorbed into the overall ten day holiday.  This date in 1922 is when the Turks defeated the Greeks in Anatolia.  In previous years Kalkan held celebrations to commemorate Victory Day, but since the Belediye moved to Kaş there have been no formal events held in Kalkan, although you will see lots of flags and bunting around Kalkan old town.  Having said that, last year locals did organise a procession/walk in the evening from the bus station, through the old town and down to the harbour.  We understand that something similar is being planned for this year.  We will keep you posted.

Victory Day march a few years ago

Kurban Bayram

Kurban Bayram, which according to the Islamic calendar this year falls on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th September, commemorates the Islamic prophet Ibrahim sacrificing a ram in place of his son Ismael, as an act of obedience to God.  Preparations (arife) usually begin the evening before; this year on 31st August.

As it is a public holiday (and an extended one at that) you will find that many Turkish people will be travelling to visit family and friends, so the roads are going to be busy and parking in Kalkan will be unlike anything you have ever experienced before.  Use taxis! 

At Kurban Bayram it is traditional for followers to wear their finest clothes as they attend prayer meetings.  Those who can afford to do so may sacrifice an animal - usually a goat or cow or sheep.  Importantly, the meat will be shared, and in particular consideration is given at this time to those who are less well off.  In the days leading up to Bayram, you may see animals being transported around town and being sold.   In modern Turkey, people will often give money to the less well off rather than slaughter an animal.

Banks and post office (PTT)
All the banks and the PTT opening days/times are as follows:
  • Friday 25th August - open as normal
  • Saturday & Sunday 26th/27th August - closed all weekend as normal
  • Monday 28th August - open as normal
  • Tuesday 29th August - open as normal
  • Wednesday 30th August - closed all day
  • Thursday 31st August - open until 12.30 then closed in the afternoon
  • Friday 1st September - closed all day
  • Saturday & Sunday 2nd/3rd September - closed all weekend as normal
  • Monday 4th September - closed all day
  • Tuesday 5th September - open as normal

Public (government) offices
You should expect most branches of government to be closed over this extended holiday period.  This includes the medical centre in Kalkan, which will close at the end of day on Friday 25th August and reopen on Tuesday 5th September.  In an emergency you should call 112.  The nearest A&E hospital is on the road to Kaş.  Chemist shops will be open as usual (normal hours); you can find contact details in our business directory.

We believe that restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and shops will stay open as usual, although Bim supermarket will be closed on 1st and 2nd September.   Petrol stations never close. 

Be aware of ATM scams
The banks will be stocking up their ATMs, so you should not run out of cash.  However, it is perhaps a good time to remind KTLN readers to be wary of strangers loitering near ATMs and offering their help.  Criminals like to carry out ATM card fraud at times when the banks are closed - especially on bank holidays.  Sadly this kind of theft happens in Kalkan from time to time.  Please stay alert.

İyi Bayramlar
At this time of celebrations you may want to wish people a happy holiday, which in Turkish is "İyi Bayramlar".

Enjoy the holidays.


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Last Updated on Sunday, 20 August 2017