Hours of Operation
Some businesses and offices may have shorter working hours, so check times in advance. Museumsand other sights of interest will be open, although opening hours may be somewhat different than in other times of year.
Dining During the Day
In the larger cities there are always restaurants open all day for your needs and for the needs of Turks who do not observe the fast.
In small towns, it’s best to be prepared with your own picnic lunch and drinks in case the few local eateries are closed for lack of customers.
Non-Muslims are not expected to fast, so there is no shame in eating and drinking during daylight, though it’s polite to be considerate of others. If others are dining inside rather than at a sidewalk table, that’s the considerate thing to do.
İftar and Dinner
Several hours after İftar, the light breaking-of-the-fast meal just after sunset, restaurant may serve only large multi-course fixed-menu, fixed-price meals, and you may be required to reserve your table in advance. Dining with friends and family is a favorite social and celebratory activity during the holy month.
Some restaurants may decline to serve alcoholic beverages during these big evening dinners, though they may become available after the majority of diners have finished their meals and left the restaurant.
City traffic may be heaviest just before sunset as people travel to spend İftar, the fast-breaking meal, with family and friends.
On the last day of Ramazan, businesses may close in the afternoon in preparation for the three-day holiday known in Turkey as Ramazan Bayramı, (or Şeker Bayramı) which begins at sunset. Transport services may be particularly busy as people travel for vacation, so reserve your seats in advance. At the end of Ramazan Bayramı, transport may be busy as travelers return home. More…
Ramazan in Summer
The dates of Ramazan, when observant Muslims choose to fast and go without drinking anything from sunrise to sunset as a spiritual exercise, change each year, moving approximately 11 days earlier. This means that the Islamicholy month falls in all seasons at one time or another.
These days Ramazan falls in summer, when days are relatively long and hot.
Because of the heat, and the abstinence from eating and drinking liquids all day, some of those fasting may become a bit “touchy” or irritable during the day. It’s called Ramazan kafası (“Ramazan head”).
Keep in mind the challenges of the fast when dealing with those who are fasting, be understanding, tolerant and polite in all circumstances and, whenever possible, try to refrain from eating or drinking directly in front of those who may be observing the fast.
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Ramazan in Turkey