JANUARY (Ocak, oh-JAHK)
It’s rainy and cold everywhere, with increased air pollution in many cities. Istanbul and Ankara are mostly heated by natural gas, but most other cities by lignite(soft brown coal), which produces much pollution.
Istanbul is rainy and chilling on many days, perhaps with some light snow, but also with intermittent sunny days.
The Mediterranean coast beach resorts are in hibernation, rainy and chilly on many days.
Eastern Turkey is in the icy grip of severe winter.
New Year’s Day (January 1) is a holiday, the commercial, secular equivalent of Christmas, with decorations in shops, lots of shopping, exchanges of gifts and greeting cards.
Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 6th (Armenian Orthodox) or 7th (Greek Orthodox), when Istanbul‘s Orthodox churches are filled with worshippers and the Armenian and Greek Orthodox Patriarchs make the rounds to bless their flocks.
—by Tom Brosnahan