Official Public Holidays in Turkey

Last Updated on February 1, 2024

Public holidays in Turkey are a part of people's culture and identity. In Turkey, there are two distinctions when it comes to official holidays (similar to many countries in the world): religious holidays and public holidays.

See Tom's Turkish Almanac for more details on weather, festivals, and the significance of public holidays in Turkey.

A national holiday in Turkey is based on the country's history and culture. Moreover, most public (national) holidays originate in the Turkish Republic (1923), while a religious holiday is observed based on the Islamic faith. Regardless of whether they are religious holidays or public holidays, there will be some type of national celebration and holiday. So, banks, offices, and businesses might be closed, and traffic might intensify.

Public Holidays in Turkey

Public holidays in Turkey are official holidays, meaning offices, banks, and most businesses will be closed during this time. Moreover, some holidays in Turkey might require a half-day holiday prior to the day of celebrations.

January 1st, New Year's Day: January 1st is New Year's Day in Turkey, but most people will celebrate the day prior as there are many parties, celebrations, and events during the night. Also, cities and businesses will start decorating a month prior.

April 23rd, National Sovereignty and Children's Day: This is the day that Atatürk has gifted to children around the world, thus the name Children's Day. Schools and streets are decorated a week prior, and children prepare poems and events honoring the importance of National Sovereignty and Children's Day. While life is not affected much, governmental offices, banks, and other offices might be closed.

May 1st, Labor and Solidarity Day: Today is an official holiday, which means that most governmental offices and some private industries will be closed for the day. Although there isn't much to see, it's important to be aware that workers may hold protests. Therefore, it's recommended to avoid popular destinations and places near governmental offices.

May 19th, Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth, and Sports Day: Commemoration of Atatürk's 1919 landing in Samsun, marking the beginning of Turkey's national liberation movement, is dedicated to youth in Turkey. There will be sports events, gymnastics festivals around the country, and memorials in front of the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Anıtkabir. If you get the chance, attend one of the Turkish festivals and enjoy the cheerful spirit of the youth.

July 15th, Democracy and National Unity Day: This is a new public holiday in Turkey, commemorating national sovereignty and national unity against the 2016 coup attempt for democracy. There will be celebrations on July 15th at Kızılay National Will Square in Ankara and the Bosphorus Bridge, now known as the July 15th Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul. So, plan your travel around these places to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

August 30th, Victory Day: Victory Day commemorates the final battle at Dumlupınar, which marked the end of the Turkish Independence War in 1922. During Victory Day, there will be celebrations and events in mainly, the Anıtkabir.

October 28th–29th, Republic Day: On October 29th, Republic Day is celebrated, commemorating the day when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk declared Turkey a republic, replacing the Ottoman Empire's constitution and becoming the country's first president. The day before Republic Day, on October 28th, there is a half-day public holiday.

Islamic Religious Holidays in Turkey

Two Islamic religious festivals are also important national holidays in Turkey: Ramazan Bayramı (also known as Ramadan) following the holy month of Ramazan (Ramadan) and Kurban Bayramı (Sacrifice Feast) are among the most important religious holidays. Both of these holidays are celebrated according to the traditional Islamic Hijri lunar calendar, so their Common Era calendar dates change each year.

Ramadan Feast: Ramazan Bayramı (also called Şeker Bayramı) is the most important religious holiday in Islam and follows immediately after Ramadan (the holy month of Muslims where they feast for a month and do not eat any food until evening) and lasts for three days. During this holiday, governmental offices and most businesses are closed for the full three days as well as the half day prior to the festival.

Here are the dates for the following years of the Ramadan holiday.


Kurban Bayramı (Sacrifice Feast): The Sacrifice Feast is a significant Islamic festival celebrating Ibrahim's devotion to God. Families gather, share meals, and donate the meat of the sacrificed animal. It is a public holiday in Turkey for four and a half days, with most people traveling to their hometowns, leaving cities empty. We recommend avoiding intercity travel methods such as planes, buses, and trains, as they will be expensive and full. Moreover, most traffic accidents happen during the first day of the Sacrifice Holiday when people travel back to their hometown.

Holiday Hours of Operation

Government and business offices close on national civil (that is, non-religious) holidays, but museums, archeological sites, and most other sites of interest to foreign visitors remain open during their regular hours.

The exception are the two major Islamic holidays, Ramazan Bayramı and Kurban Bayramı. On the first day of these holidays, museums are closed for the morning, but they open after lunch and operate regularly starting from the second day. However, keep in mind that it might depend on the type of museum you visit, so it is best to give them a call before making any plans.

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan

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