TIPS FROM A TOUR GUIDE'S TREASURE TROVE

Feedback from travelers recently returned from Turkey: what's good, what's bad, what they found

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Re: TIPS FROM A TOUR GUIDE'S TREASURE TROVE

Post by OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:29 am

(TIP 35): RAMADAN & FASTING

Oruç (Fasting) is one of the Five Pillars (duties) of Islam and is mandatory for all adult Muslim men and women, except the insane, infirm, sick or traveling and pregnant or feeding mothers. They can complete the prescribed number of fasting days by choosing to fast on some other days. Those who cannot fast, except with great hardship, should arrange to feed at least one needy person in lieu of the days one missed out on fasting.

Fasting means to stop eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. Dawn is the time which is about one hour before the sunrise while sunset is the time of "evening call to prayer". Sahur is the early morning or pre-fast meal eaten before the sun rises. Ramazan Davulcusu (Ramadan drummers) woke up people by walking around the neighborhoods with a big double-headed drum. They beat out variety of rhythms and sometimes may also sing a mani, a rhyming couplet. The drummers may surprise the newcomers. However they try to keep alive an old tradition from the times alarm clocks were non-existent. Just before Bayram and certainly during Bayram the drummer of your district will knock on your door for a tip.

The fast is broken with a meal, which is known as Iftar just after sunset with "evening call to prayer". If you bare traveling in Turkey during Ramadan, please keep in mind that cannons are fired at Sahur and Iftar times. For most of the muslims these two meals are more than a ritualistic part of fasting; they are pleasure. Many families have busy lives recently, with both parents working and the kids are in school. Therefore these meals are time for gathering and spend some more time together during Ramadan. When Ramadan was falling in winter months when the nights are longer it was easier to fast since there is almost 10-11 hours between the meals (sahur and iftar). Now Ramadan begins to fall in summer months and the fasting time gets longer which is almost 17-18 hours in June and July. This year it is around 15 hours. It is wise to have light and simple meals such as breakfast at sahur in summer Ramadans.

Iftar usually begins with dates, sweet drinks, breakfast and soup followed by traditional dinner. Iftar invitations are wide spread in Ramadan. You may have Iftar gathering calls from family members, friends, and neighbors. You can also invite Muslim family and friends who are comfortable interacting with non-Muslims to such events. During Ramadan, the night praying (yatsı namazı) is followed by a special "namaz" called Teravih. It is a kind of ritual worshipping performed only at Ramadan nights. The Muslims try to visit different mosques to fulfill the teravih praying. Please also note that some restuarants are closed during the day time and most of the restaurants do not serve alcoholic drinks in the month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is considered holy because Koran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad during this month. Apart from bringing the Muslims face to face with the hard realities of life such as pangs of hunger, thirst and deprivation, Ramadan is an annual training period inculcating discipline and declaration of subservience to the laws of God, enumerated in the holy Koran. A Muslim is told to give Sadaka (charity) and Fitre (alms given in Ramadan) to the poor before going to say the Bayram prayers. Muslims recite Koran intensively during this holy month.

The last 10 days of Ramadan are more important as the faithful watch for Kadir Gecesi (the Night of Power) during which the revelation of the book to the Prophet was completed. In a way it is considered the climax of Ramadan and Muslims stay awake all night praying or listening to sermons from the Imam (religious leader). Fasting is practiced by followers of all religions in one form or other. Fasting enables one to understand the deprivations of hunger and thirst, which in turn encourages one to be kind to the poor and the needy. It is also viewed as a health care ritual by many. The establishment of an obedient and disciplined society is also fulfilled when people observe Oruç (Fast). Ramadan is a month of brotherhood, renewal of relationships and festivity and the rigor of fasting ends with the celebration of Şeker Bayramı (Sweet Festival).

With all good wishes from Melbourne.
Selahattin Tümer

selahattintumer@yahoo.com


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Re: TIPS FROM A TOUR GUIDE'S TREASURE TROVE

Post by OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:27 am

There is a wonderful TV series going on Star TV called "Muhteşem Yüzyıl" about the the time of Souleiman the Magnificent. The series is a prime time historical Turkish soap opera watched by millions every week.

With all good wishes
Selahattin Tümer

selahattintumer@yahoo.com

OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE
TTP Expert
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:59 pm
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Re: TIPS FROM A TOUR GUIDE'S TREASURE TROVE

Post by OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:38 am

Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Turkish pronunciation: [muhteˈʃæm ˈjyzjɯl], English: The Magnificent Century) is a prime time historical Turkish soap opera television series. It was originally broadcast on Show TV and then transferred to Star TV. It is based on the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hürrem Sultan, a slave girl who became Sultana.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhte%C5%9 ... Czy%C4%B1l

With all good wishes.
Selahattin Tümer

selahattintumer@yahoo.com

OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE
TTP Expert
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:59 pm
How many stars? **: 0
Location: Ankara

Re: TIPS FROM A TOUR GUIDE'S TREASURE TROVE

Post by OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDE » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:48 am

Dear All,

I have just returned from a 6-year long diplomatic mission to Khartoum (Sudan-2 years) and Melbourne (Australia-4 years) and happy to meet all Turkey lovers in Turkey Travel Planner which is one of the longest lasting Turkey Travel medium in its field. I would be more than happy to contribute to TTP and answer your questions to the best of my knowledge as a professional tour guide.

With all good wishes.
Selahattin Tümer

selahattintumer@yahoo.com


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